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Four People Drown on North Shore in 2 Days

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Originally Posted by DJ_Jeff View Post
Please share why it is important to amplify something "horrible", are you practicing to be on network newshuh.gif Seems pointless to insert that here, however, I am willing to see constructive purpose in your intent. Aloha from Kauai, mostly safe and mostly happy here. NO WORRIES!! Of course, where your attention goes, energy flows. Sending love to the forum, Kauai loves you!!
I'm not following you...

Pay attention to this definition and your energy may flow toward a coherant reply:

1. Arousing or tending to arouse horror; dreadful: "War is beyond all words horrible" Winston S. Churchill.
2. Very unpleasant; disagreeable.

People drowning isn't delightful, it's horrible and a host of other words synonymous with horrible. Ease up.

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First, I apologize for going over the top with my network news comment. That was uncalled for. <g> it was a funky morning, thought I would enjoy going online and seeing about love and weddings and what do I get... ' nasty news ' and ' nasty views ' - if a mistake is made in the future, maybe we can try love and correction? peace be with us. hug2.gif

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I posted this because my daughter returned from a wedding of a BDW bride, Rachel and Chris, on Kauai in September. The 33 year-old woman that drowned was Chris's best friend from childhood. That family already had a trip to Kauai planned before the wedding and, unfortunately, were unable to attend Rachel and Chris's wedding one month earlier. There are several brides still planning to be married on Kauai, and they need to know the dangers of the waves and riptides. This is not "nasty news and views", it is possibly life-saving information.

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DJ Jeff please know that I am not passing judgment on you or jumping down your throat. However, I think its important to clarify misunderstandings.


Melanie has been an active member for a long time and she is a great contributor to this forum. She mentioned this topic b/c it is relevant to a destination wedding forum. She didn't mention it to be debbie downer, she mentioned it b/c she knows that there are members here who are either having weddings there or are interested in having weddings there. She is being an active member and frankly a good friend by notifying people of the dangers. In no way shape or form has she said that people shouldn't have their weddings on this island. She was only warning people of the conditions of the ocean, not of the island itself. Just b/c a tide may be strong doesn't mean that the island is an unsafe place to visit or even have a wedding at.


There are dangers in having a DW in any area but that doesn't mean that the pros don't outweigh the cons. Drownings, robberies, kidnappings, corrupt police, etc, are a possibility in all DWs. That doesn't mean that people still won't choose to have a wonderful experience and enjoy the beautiful locale.


That being said even if the drownings had nothing to do with a DW, we are a group of individuals who like to share wedding advice along with current events. We are compassionate, caring people and things that affect the world are of importance to us. I think it speaks volumes of our members that we can spend our time planning a wedding AND still care about the world and the things affecting it.


Alyssa is a moderator of this forum and she also got married in Hawaii. She was merely commenting on the tragedy of the situation and showing compassion for those that have lost their lives. She was in no way insinuating that people shouldn't have their weddings there or that these 4 separate incidents should qualify as a reason to not have a wedding there. Just so you know, the original resort that Alyssa chose to have her wedding at closed down and Alyssa did not shun away from Hawaii. In fact, any member of this forum will tell you that she was MORE concerned with the people that lost their jobs than her own wedding. Again I'm not judging you but I wish that you had taken a little more time to get to know Alyssa before judging her.


I understand that your living in Hawaii and you want people to appreciate the island for all the amazing things it has to offer, but the way you attacked Alyssa was really uncalled for. She literally posted one sentence and you took that to mean that she was somehow amplifying the tragedy and suggesting that people shouldn't have their weddings there.


That was completely unfair on your part and honestly I think you jumped to conclusions. The same way we may not know you very well and we should take the time to get to know you, I hope next time you will take the time to get to know the other members before passing judgment on them.

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Originally Posted by Nrvsbride View Post
DJ Jeff please know that I am not passing judgment on you or jumping down your throat. However, I think its important to clarify misunderstandings.
Indeed, no worries, I have not found any problem there as your intent is clear and clean, thank you. Now, let's clarify some misunderstandings...

First, my experience... upon opening my email, I received notice of this thread that lead me to believe that Alyssa started the thread and gave it that title and that short comment. That is what I reacted to. Forgive my error in not seeing the origins and the rest of the thread. The TITLE had the 'horrible effect' of being more like a sad news item and the combo with the comment appeared as having no constructive purpose. It just hit me the way it did. S&M.gif

Originally Posted by Nrvsbride View Post
Melanie has been an active member for a long time and she is a great contributor to this forum. She mentioned this topic b/c it is relevant to a destination wedding forum. She didn't mention it to be debbie downer, she mentioned it b/c she knows that there are members here who are either having weddings there or are interested in having weddings there. She is being an active member and frankly a good friend by notifying people of the dangers. In no way shape or form has she said that people shouldn't have their weddings on this island. She was only warning people of the conditions of the ocean, not of the island itself. Just b/c a tide may be strong doesn't mean that the island is an unsafe place to visit or even have a wedding at.
If the intent was to focus on OCEAN SAFETY, then a better subject line would help and then Alyssa's reply might not have been taken out of context as well. Melanie could also have contributed some good info and showed more intention to help not just reporting news. Like here is the link to Kauai Beach Explorer with lots of great ocean safety info Kauai Vacation Explorer or how about this page from the County of Kauai. That would balance out the presentation, she did offer 3 links to the news items but said nothing of why she was sharing that. So, that is the short of that. I hope all see good reason to more carefully craft subject line for this thread and I will be more careful in reading my email. It has been a bit crazy with other sad news that I just reacted too quickly.

So we all reacted, a lot of misunderstandings resulted and honestly it is laborious to try and clear all of this up. A lot going on. This is enough for me for now. I just woke up after doing a wedding last night yet wanted to share a bit so y'all know my experience and my heart and back off with your projections and see the truth here. Be well. Aloha, malama kama'aina. grouphug.gif

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Click the image to open in full size. Discussion at the county level is considering constricting access to the Queen’s Bath on the North Shore during the winter after a recent spate of drownings. The popular spot is seen, above left, in June when it is calm and then in October when swells make it dangerous. Nathan Eagle/The Garden Island


County ponders closing Queen’s Bath - Guidebooks blamed; joint effort called for


By Nathan Eagle - The Garden Island


Published: Friday, November 7, 2008 1:12 AM HST

After four tourists drowned in a harrowing week last month, the Kaua‘i County Council yesterday buoyed the public dialogue on ocean safety by making a policy statement about the risks and responsibilities associated with certain North Shore attractions.


The seven-member legislative body unanimously passed a resolution that urges government agencies and guidebook authors to participate in a concerted effort to address the hazardous conditions at Queen’s Bath and the path leading to the natural tide pool carved into a lava shelf at the base of a cliff in Princeville.


“Queen’s Bath is indeed a gorgeous spot when it’s calm, but it’s a death trap at least 200 days a year,” said Dr. Monty Downs, a water safety advocate.


The morning session discussion at the Historic County Building emanated from the deaths of two visitors — sisters-in-law Tonya Cataldo, 39, of Parker, Colo., and Heather Westphal, 33, of Washington, D.C. — who were walking along a ledge Oct. 12 at Queen’s Bath when a large wave swept them out to sea.


Witnesses, water safety experts and the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau offered potential solutions and identified the steps being taken to keep visitors and residents safe from such deceptive disasters.


Increased signage, guardrails, an emergency phone, an informational kiosk, temporary closures, revised guidebooks and a broad educational campaign were proposed.


The resolution specifically urges the county engineer to consider closing the county parking lot and easement path leading to the Queen’s Bath coastline between the rainy, winter months of October through April for routine maintenance.


Queen’s Bath is reached from a trail that starts at a parking lot in Princeville. It is steep and often slippery, following a narrow stream through lush vegetation and passing by a picturesque falls along the route. The rugged coastline, which is controlled by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, must then be navigated some 150 yards horizontally to arrive at Queen’s Bath.


Councilman Mel Rapozo indicated his support for seasonal closures of the parking lot and path easement, but water safety experts said closing the access on a day-by-day basis by “people who know what they are doing” would be a smarter move.


Lifeguard instructor John Tyler Cragg, who supported increased signage and a solar-powered emergency call box among other measures, said closing the trail seems “a little extreme at this point.”


Patrick Durkin, a former lifeguard who now runs Aquatic Safety Management, said a seasonal closure fails to address core drowning prevention strategies. These include lifeguards, warning signs and education, “an area we haven’t put enough into.”


He said lifeguards are a proven frontline of defense. But it was noted that the four recent drownings occurred at unguarded areas.


Warning signs, such as “Dangerous Shorebreak” or “Strong Rip Current,” are “a litigation avoidance mechanism,” Durkin said.


Others agreed that signage was important, but its impact negligible.


Signs show “a huge wave, a little man and a rock,” Rapozo said. “Show some photos of some dead bodies. Let the tourists see that ... if the goal is to prevent drownings.”


“Signage is a feel good measure,” said Kekaha resident Bruce Pleas, an avid surfer and ocean weatherman. “People will hang towels on the signs.”


Signs are posted at the Queen’s Bath trailhead warning of the dangerous conditions.


Aside from signage, Durkin said the county needs to “out the guidebook.”


The resolution says Queen’s Bath is frequented “mainly by tourists who read about the destination in tourist guidebooks such as ‘The Ultimate Kaua‘i Guidebook.’”


It also says “the descriptions of Queen’s Bath in the guidebooks do not provide sufficient information as to its dangerous nature and instead depicts it as an off-the-beaten-path paradise experience showing pictures of the area during calm conditions.”


The water safety experts, council members and Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau Executive Director Sue Kanoho cast much blame on guidebooks, which they said fail to provide clear warnings of the dangers associated with a place.


Kanoho said the guidebooks should show pictures of Queen’s Bath when it becomes “like a washing machine” in addition to how it appears on a calm day.


Andrew Doughty, author of the popular “The Ultimate Kaua‘i Guidebook,” said yesterday that the current edition, published last month, has taken a stronger stance on Queen’s Bath.


The description in the book’s 7th edition states: “During winter months (generally October–April), high surf often assaults the area. Even when the ocean appears calm, it’s always possible for a rogue wave to snap at this part of the shoreline, knocking people around, maybe even dragging them back into the open ocean. That’s why winter surf typically makes Queen’s Bath unusable.”


“We feel so strongly about ocean safety that we have one of the largest beach safety sections of any guidebook on the market, dedicating over 1.5 pages to the dangers that exist on Kaua‘i and what to watch our for at all beaches,” Doughty said. “This is in addition to individual beach warnings strewn throughout the book.”


He noted that Queen’s Bath is listed in virtually every guidebook, free publications, Web sites and was featured in some of the Hawai‘i Visitor’s Bureau’s literature.


“This has to be a joint effort,” said Kanoho, who has written to a dozen guidebooks asking for their help. “We can’t do it by ourselves.”


Rapozo noted the DLNR’s absence from the meeting. He and others who testified said the state needs to be more involved in the solution.


The resolution urges the DLNR to “consider placing appropriate signage at the termination point of the county path easement leading to the coastline which effectively informs the public of the dangerous conditions.”


Downs said signs fail to provide a “particularly good disincentive.”


Yesterday was an example of a “beautiful but deadly” day, he said, noting a rapidly building north swell that could quickly transform the calm seas.


Councilman Daryl Kaneshiro suggested indicating the number of people who have drowned at the site to make signage more effective.


Downs said “underground signmakers” put up such a sign at Hanakapi‘ai Beach where people had routinely died. He said the Polish visitor who drowned there last month was the first since the sign was posted five years ago.


“Everyone thinks it doesn’t apply to them,” Kanoho said.


Mark McKamey, the North District supervisor for the county’s Ocean Safety Bureau, underscored education.


For instance, all the saves he has made near Queen’s Bath have happened when the near-drowning victims swam with the current away from the coastline. JetSkis from Hanalei can reach the area within five to 10 minutes, he added.


“This is our problem ... the island’s, the visitor industry’s, everyone,” said Kilauea resident Christopher Waite, a medic who witnessed the recent drownings at Queen’s Bath. “It’s a vision that stays with you a long time. ... It’s not just unsuspecting visitors who are at risk.”


Mayor Bill “Kaipo” Asing’s administration is expected to make a presentation on ocean safety at an upcoming council meeting.


For ocean safety information and current conditions, visit Kauai Vacation Explorer - fun activities, beaches & hikes!


• Nathan Eagle, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or neagle@kauaipubco.com


PS Melanie - Just focus on my good intent and all is blessed... forgive the rest and be doubly blessed. Distilled spirits are a lot more fun, and I do not mean drinking. I refer to clear perception, reflection, and reception.

Love and light from Kauai. Malama pono. smile03.gif Happy Holidays!


P.S.S. one piece of info that might help. I am an internet consultant and manage communications for several companies. forgive me if my suggestions in the other post are more natural to other communities I hang with. that day, I was also dealing with news my dog had cancer, it was tricky news to deal with and that may have colored things. nothing personal, really. peace be with us.

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