Kayak Rescue Hanalei River

Two Kayaykers Rescued on Hanalei River

On Monday, May 13th, 2024, two visitors from Tennessee found themselves in a perilous situation on the Hanalei River in Kauai, Hawaii. According to reports from the County of Kauai, personnel from the Hanalei Fire Station and Ocean Safety Bureau (OSB) sprang into action to rescue them.

The incident unfolded shortly after 3:45 p.m. when first responders received a distress call concerning two kayakers in trouble on the Hanalei River. Hanalei firefighters quickly arrived at the scene just before 3:50 p.m. With the assistance of OSB personnel, they located the stranded kayakers clinging to vegetation approximately 3/4 of a mile upriver from the Hanalei Bridge.

The kayakers, who had reportedly lost control of their kayak due to elevated river conditions, were safely rescued by OSB personnel from the North Roving Patrol unit. They were then transported to medics from the American Medical Response for further evaluation and assessment.

The Hanalei River, known for its gentle flow, can become hazardous during and after heavy rainfall. Authorities caution against venturing into the river during severe weather events. To gauge the river’s safety, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) operates a gage on the Hanalei River. Readings exceeding 5 feet indicate flooding, while the closure of the Hanalei Bridge typically occurs at around 8 feet. Spikes, as seen on the chart below, can often indicate hazardous conditions.

Hanalei River Gage Chart

[TOP PHOTO: File photo of two paddle boarders on the Hanalei River.]