Paddler with Damaged Canoe Rescued from Hilo Bay

December 7, 2019, 12:55 PM HST
* Updated December 7, 12:50 PM
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A man paddling a one-man canoe in Hilo Bay this morning was rescued by first responders after his vessel was damaged.

The incident was first reported at 8:48 a.m. by a guest staying at Hilo Hawaiian Hotel who spotted the man waving his arms and paddle in distress.

Hawai‘i County Fire Department personnel responded to the call about ten minutes later, sending a chopper and rescue boat to retrieve him. The man was found swimming beside his damaged canoe just inside the tip of Hilo Bay breakwall. He was rescued and brought back to shore without injury.

The National Weather Service and Civil Defense have issued high surf warnings through Sunday evening. The swell direction is directly impacting the Hilo breakwall and east facing shores including Keaukaha.

Due to the conditions, Bayfront Highway has been closed, as well as Onekahakaha, Kealoha (4-mile) and Coconut Island Beach Parks. The public is advised to heed any advice given by ocean safety officials and exercise caution when entering the water.

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