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Safety Is a Priority

Vacations are a great way to relax and unwind but when exploring unfamiliar areas, it’s important to be vigilant to keep yourself and others safe.

Ocean safety:

  • Beaches around Oʻahu are all different and not all are meant for swimming.
  • Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there are different tide patterns, seasons and currents around Oʻahu which can mean dangerous conditions for those unfamiliar with our shorelines.
  • Only swim at beaches with lifeguards on duty.
  • Read and follow all posted signs.
    • There might be high or dangerous surf
    • Sometimes there are boxed jellyfish (that sting).
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times:
    • Never turn your back to the ocean.
  • Learn more.

Land safety:

  • Oʻahu offers many beautiful hiking trails. Make sure to only hike legal trails.
  • Stay on designated paths. Making your own paths can be dangerous not only for yourself, but for others. It also erodes the trail causing permanent damage to the native ecosystem and hazardous conditions.
  • Hike Smart: Do not hike alone or after dark. If you hike alone, tell someone of your plans.
  • Read the signs: Pay attention to posted signs and warnings.
  • Do your research. Visit Nā Ala Hele Trails website that provides information on official trails including length, difficulty, and amenities.
  • Download the “OuterSpacial” app.
    • Developed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), the app provides official information about trails and other outdoor recreation spots
    • Users can download their trail or route before heading out and the app will continue to provide their location through the phone’s GPS
      throughout the hike — even if cell service drops.
    • The information is updated by the state agency’s staff so users can know which areas and trails can be legally and safely accessed.
  • Learn more.

Respect for Wildlife:

  • Hawaiʻi is known as the “endangered species capital of the world.”
  • Legal protections. Sea turtles, monk seals, dolphins and whales are wild animals and protected under state and federal laws.
  • Responsible viewing. For their protection and your safety, view them responsibly from the recommended distance.
    • Never touch, chase, or feed. Animals are wild, unpredictable, and protected.
    • Do no disturb sea turtles or monk seals sleeping on the beach.
    • Please respect our marine wildlife and enjoy them from an appropriate viewing distance.
  • Never swim with spinner dolphins
    • Respect. They rest and nurture their young during the day.
    • The Rules. Federal law prohibits swimming with, approaching, or remaining within 50 yards of spinner dolphins in Hawai‘i.
  • Learn more.

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