Hawaii RODS Awareness Brief English

Several recent fatalities bring Recreation and Off-Duty activities into the forefront
of safety.
The purpose of this brief is to provide sailors who are stationed here or are
passing through with awareness of some of our more hazardous activities, the
dangers they pose and how to use Operational Risk Management (ORM) to
manage the hazards.
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class of Alexandria, PA. died April 5, 2014 in an incident
near the “China Wall” in Maunalua Bay after being swept out to sea by strong
currents. The Corpsman was rescued, given life-saving aid, and rushed to the
hospital where he was pronounced dead despite continued efforts to revive him.
Naval Aircrewman Mechanical 3rd Class from Whittier, CA, assigned to Patrol
Squadron (VP) 4 based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, died June 8, 2014 in a
recreational activity near the Spitting Cave at Maunalua Bay, Hawaii, located
approximately 10 miles east of Honolulu.
In March 2005, a Navy Operations Specialist 3rd Class who was assigned to the
USS Lake Erie (CG-70), died at Spitting Cave, was swimming and got caught in
strong currents. He was unable to make it back to shore.
Take away:
The Navy has an instruction which individuals must comply with.
Most of us have been taught to use ORM at work or on the battle field. Do you
think about ORM while on vacation or at the beach?
Remember to use the ORM Process for Recreation and Off-duty activities.
1.! Accept Risk when the Benefit Outweighs the Cost
2.! Accept No Unnecessary Risk
3.! Anticipate and Manage Risks by Planning
4.! Make Risk Decisions at the Right Level
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 -
Identify the Hazards – Know before you go
Assess the Hazards – When in doubt – don’t go out
Make Risk Decisions
Implement Controls
Evaluate - Did the conditions change?
Take away:
Hawaii has been named the “Drowning Capital of the USA”
For any water activity:
ORM – Identify the Hazards – Know before you go
•! Ask a lifeguard
•! Watch the locals
•! Obey the posted warning signs
•! Know your skill level on the activities your are about to engage in
ORM – Assess the Hazard - When in doubt, don’t go out
ORM – Implement Controls
•! Swim in lifeguarded areas
•! Wear a flotation device
Take away:
Wave heights are generally measured two ways, face scale and Hawaiian scale.
ORM – Anticipate and Manage Risks by Planning
•! Sign up for weather alerts to your phone
ORM – Identify the Hazards - Know before you go
•! The Hawaii Beach Safety website reports current beach conditions that
are updated every 10 minutes.
•! Water conditions can change quickly
•! Ocean wave height can go from 2 feet to over 20 feet in a few hours
•! Rouge waves can came at anytime
ORM – Evaluate - Did the conditions change?
Take away:
ORM – Identify the Hazards – Know before you go
•! Talk to the lifeguards
•! Observe the warning signs
ORM – Assess the Risk
•! While the waters may look calm they still pose a threat
•! Even when the big waves are not present, some beaches still have rip
•! Rogue waves can happen at any time
ORM – Implement Controls
•! Do not swim or surf in the big waves
•! Swim or surf only on beaches with lifeguards
•! Do not turn your back to the ocean
Take Away:
ORM – Identify the Hazards – Know before you go
Check a website – Check a book – Check with someone who knows
Take away:
ORM – Identify the Hazards – Know before you go
•! Look for and obey the posted warning signs
•! Sign up for local Hawaii weather alerts for your phone or e-mails
•! http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/category/202017/weather
•! https://portal.ehawaii.gov/page/alerts/
•! Listen to the local radio broadcasts
•! KSSK AM 590 - FM 92.3
•! Check the Websites:
•! http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/
•! http://www.hawaii247.com/weather/
Take away:
The area in the surf that appears calm with no breaking waves is actually a ripcurrent that will pull you out to sea
The bigger the breaking waves the stronger the rip-current
Look for:
•! Gaps in the breaking waves, where the rip is forcing its way seaward through
the surf zone
•! Choppy surface that extends beyond the breaker zone
•! Floating objects moving steadily out to sea
•! Water in the rip may be colder than the surrounding water
ORM – Identify the Hazards – Know before you go
Take Away:
Review each tip above
•! Dive under the large waves - not over.
•! The reef though it appears to be solid is actually alive. You can damage it by
walking or touching it. It can also cause injuries.
•! Sharks are looking for food in murky water especially after a heavy rain fall.
Take away:
ORM – Anticipate and Manage Risks by Planning –
•! Keep track of the shoreline as it is easy to get pulled out to sea by the
ORM – Identify the Hazards - Know before you go
•! Check out the local snorkeling websites
•! Check with the life guards about the current conditions
•! Useful websites:
http://www.lifesaving.com/node/191 Navy Seal Drowns in Shallow End of Honolulu
Municipal Swimming Pool
ORM – Evaluate
•! Know your ability and limits
•! Even Navy Seals have drown while swimming during off-duty and training
Take Away:
The surfer closest to the breaking part of the wave has the right of way. If you need to get out of
the way, paddle towards the whitewater so as to not interfere with their wave.
ORM – Accept No Unnecessary Risk
•! Stay out of the big surf
ORM – Identify the Hazards - Know before you go
•! If you’re at a new surf spot, take some time to understand a little bit about the spot
before you wax up and jump in. Look to see where other surfers are entering and
exiting the water. Take notice of where surfers in the water are sitting, where they
paddle when a set approaches, and what they do.
•! Surf heights vary depending on who is providing the information and stated
wave height may be twice as high. Wave heights are generally measured two
ways, face scale and Hawaiian scale.
•! Know your ability
ORM – Assess the Hazards - When in doubt – don’t go out
Take Away:
•! Strong winds and currents may make it difficult for you to get back to shore.
Plan ahead.
•! 2010 – Sailor off a Pearl Harbor based submarine drowned while on a
watercraft off Kaneohe Bay.
ORM – Anticipate and Manage Risk by Planning
•! File a float plan
•! Know your limits
•! Go with a friend
ORM – Accept No Unnecessary Risk
•! Wear a life jacket
•! Don’t drink before or while boating
Take Away:
ORM – Accept No Unnecessary Risk
•! Do not turn your back on the ocean
•! Do not go close to the edge/ledge of the ocean to watch the big waves,
you can easily be swept into the ocean from the waves
•! Wear surf fins or beach shoes to protect your feet
•! Do not attempt to climb steep and slippery rocks
•! Beware of the jellyfish, Portuguese man-of-war and sea urchins
ORM – Identify the Hazards – Know before you go
•! Check the website: http://www.to-hawaii.com/jellyfishcalendar.html
•! Box Jellyfish arrive on south shores approximately 10 days after a full
•! Portuguese man-of-war are blown in by the winds
•! Check the website: http://www.hawaiibeachsafety.com
In April and June 2014, we had two Navy sailors drown while cliff jumping at Spitting
A third Navy sailor drown in March 2005 at Spitting Caves.
Strong current caused by the water rushing in and out of the cave makes it difficult to
swim, add in the crashing waves on the slippery rocks and it becomes a disaster
waiting to happen.
On Kauai – Cliff Jumping is popular at Shipwreck Beach
The Honolulu Emergency Services Department has made public service
announcements and their YouTube PSA: Spitting Caves Can Kill
ORM – Accept No Unnecessary Risk
•! It may look like fun but it isn’t worth your life
ORM – Identify the Hazards – Know before you go.
•! No lifeguards
Take away:
There are many great hiking trails in Hawaii and a great place to start is the Na Ala Hele –
Hawaii Trail System and Access website.
You can get trail information like how to get there, the length of the trail, difficulty of the trail,
printable topographical maps, dog owner information: like hunting dogs on the trail, camping and
mountain bikes, current trail conditions or special events taking place on the trail and weather
ORM – Anticipate and Manage Risks by Planning
•! Be prepared – take extra food, water and at least a 5’ x 8’ plastic tarp
•! Do not get lost – take a map
•! Return before night fall
ORM – Identify the Hazards – Know before you go
•! Check a website or hikers guide book
ORM – Assess the Hazards
•! Narrow ridge line trail – steep drop offs
•! Raining – wet and muddy slippery conditions
Firefighters rescue two stranded hikers on East Oahu trail
The exhausted women, who were ill-prepared for the hike, had hiked three hours to the point
where they became stuck without any water. One of the women, however, was carrying a hula
Take away:
ORM – Anticipate and Manage Risks by Planning
•! While cellphone reception is good in some places, you cannot rely on it to always be there.
When you are hiking it is recommended to turn off your cellphone so you do not run down the
•! Plan to stay overnight on the trail
LIHUE, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Kauai Fire Department this morning completed their
rescue of a total of 121 stranded hikers after fast-flowing waters made stream impassable since
yesterday afternoon.
ORM – Identify the Hazards – Know before you go
•! Check the weather forecast
•! Know your ability
•! Get educated about leptospirosis at www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/
ORM – Assess the Hazards
•! Do I have a cut or broken skin?
A young man had just finished his junior year at Damien High School when he swam with his
football teammates at Kapena Falls in Nuuanu. The next day, he became ill with a high fever.
Because his parents resided in Kalaupapa, he lived on Oahu with his older sister, who took him
to a clinic in Wai'anae three days in a row. Diagnosed with the flu, he was sent home each time.
On the fourth day, the 17-year-old was admitted to Queen's Hospital. Soon after, he died.
The cause: leptospirosis. Remember if you get flu like symptoms within 14 days of going on a
hike, see the doctor and tell them you were hiking and may have leptospirosis.
Take Away:
The weather conditions in Hawaii vary extremely. It may be sunny and dry in
one spot but rainy in another. Certain areas, especially in the mountains, are
prone to short bursts of rain that can turn a nice trail into a slippery hazard.
ORM – Implement Controls
•! Wear PPE
•! Helmet
•! Gloves
•! Check the website: https://hawaiitrails.ehawaii.gov
•! Know the trail conditions
•! Take a map
•! Take spare tire tube and air pump
•! Be aware of hikers on trail
•! Take 2 liters of water per person per day
Take Away:
ORM – Anticipate and Manage Risks by Planning
•! You will fall – wear PPE
•! Skatepark.org reports 21 skateboarding fatalities for 2013 in USA
•! One in a golf course
•! One in a private parking lot
•! All others on public Streets
•! Two on public streets in Hawaii
ORM – Implement Controls
•! Use skateboard parks not the road or sidewalk