Shark Bites Snorkeler

On January 1, 2002, a 35-year-old male snorkeler about 100 yards offshore of Olowalu on Maui was bitten on the buttock. The attack was presumed to have been inflicted by a tiger shark, as one was seen in the area before and after the attack.

Two Boys Survive Being Swept Downstream

In January of 2002, three boys went into O‘ahu’s Makīkī Stream to retrieve their slippers (sandals), when a sudden of rush of water appeared and swept two of the boys downstream. The third boy ran for help as his two friends floated beneath the H-1 freeway and through culverts, traveling about ½-mile distance in about 10 minutes.

Near King Street and Kalākaua Avenue, the boys managed to grab onto a pipe hanging out into the water, and then they were helped onto land by some passers by.[i]

Angel’s Trumpet Flower Causes Incoherent Babbling

In February of 2002 on O‘ahu, a 15-year-old boy ended up in critical condition at Castle Medical Center after eating the petals of an Angel’s Trumpet flower (Burgmansia species), a fairly common plant in the Hawaiian Islands. Though its long, bell-shaped flowers make it an attractive ornamental plant, Angel’s Trumpet is extremely toxic, and consumption of even a small amount can shut down the central nervous system.

Doctors had to tie the boy to the hospital bed, giving him sedatives and inserting a charcoal solution (in a bottle) into the boy’s intestine to absorb the plant’s toxins, which caused 18 hours of hallucinations and incoherent babbling. Later the boy reported that he had eaten “several petals” and then “several more petals” of the toxic flower.

Angel’s Trumpet contains a chemical called atropine, which is used by doctors as an antidote to persons exposed to nerve gas or pesticides. Another boy was hospitalized in June of 2001 after consuming the Angel’s Trumpet flower and losing control due to hallucinations.

In 1982, a man died after consuming a homemade medical preparation that included juice from the plant. In 1996, the Angel’s Trumpet flower was banned from O‘ahu’s Schofield Barracks because some soldiers had ingested it to get high.[ii]

Human Leg Found on Reef

On March 2, 2002, a scuba diver about 100 yards offshore of O‘ahu’s Hanauma Bay discovered a human leg lying on top of the coral reef. The leg bones were nearly complete from the toes to the hip socket, and a portion of the foot still had the flesh attached.

Lifeguards turned the limb over to police, who gave it to the Medical Examiner for analysis and comparison with data on missing persons.[iii]

Truck Goes Off Waipi‘o Cliff

On March 19, 2002, one man was killed when a pickup truck ascending the hill out of Waipi‘o Valley went off the edge of the narrow road and plunged 300 feet down the steep cliff. The truck rolled over numerous times and ended up on the beach below.

Rescue workers searched for the accident victims that evening but were hampered by thick fog and darkness. After they ceased searching, the family and friends of the driver’s fiancé continued searching, and heard the vehicle’s driver yelling for help.

Using a rope tied to a truck on the road, they descended the cliff and found the man wedged against the cliff by a tree about 100 yards above the beach. He suffered only a broken leg. The passenger remained in the vehicle and did not survive the crash.[iv]


Shark Attacks Bodyboarder

On March 25, 2002 a 17-year-old male bodyboarder lost his left foot and ankle to a shark about 150 feet offshore at Brennecke Beach on Kaua‘i’s south shore.

The 17-year-old was pulled underwater twice, and then was finally freed from the shark’s grip after he punched it and jabbed the eye of the shark, which was thought to be a tiger shark.[v]

Geyser Takes Life

In July of 2002, an 18-year-old California man died after he leaned over O‘ahu’s Hālona Blowhole and was struck by the powerful geyser of water that is produced when waves striking the lava are funneled up through a hole in the rock with tremendous force.

Just as the man leaned over the blowhole to look inside, the powerful spout of water blasted him up into the air. He came down head first, right into the hole. His body was found the next day in the nearby ocean.[vi]

Kayaker Adrift for Four Days is Rescued

On Friday, July 26, 2002, a man in a 17-foot-long folding, sailing kayak was about ¼th-mile offshore of Hawai‘i Island’s Kohala Coast when stormy weather capsized the vessel. When he righted the kayak, the jib sail caught the wind and quickly sent the vessel about 20 miles out to sea. The man paddled hard for more than 20 hours, but could only get within about 10 miles of shore.

On Sunday morning, after drifting helplessly for two days, he was able to use his cell phone to contact rescuers and communicate his position. Four times the rescue planes came very near, but did not see him.

By Tuesday, July 30, the drifting kayaker was about 80 miles southwest of the Hawaiian Islands. Exhausted, dehydrated, and suffering from delusions, the man was comforted only by his water-soaked Bible. He was finally spotted and rescued.[vii]

Shark Bites Boy

On August 28, 2002 in O‘ahu’s Kewalo Basin channel, a tiger shark estimated to be 11-feet long bit into the left foot of a 16-year-old boy, causing a large gash. The shark also bit the tail off the boy’s surfboard.

100-Foot Fall into Lava Tube Injures Rescue Worker

On September 11, 2002 a firefighter on Hawai‘i Island fell 100 feet into a lava tube. Though he suffered multiple injuries, the man survived.

At the time of the accident, the firefighter was searching for three missing hunters, and was making his way through thick underbrush when he stepped into a fern-covered hole. Other firefighters used ropes to bring the man up out of the lava tube, and he was then transported by helicopter to Queen’s Hospital.[viii]

Five Rescued from Lava Tube

On September 24, 2002 five people rappelled down into a 60-foot-deep lava tube on the side of Mauna Kea volcano. The hole was only about 10 feet wide at the top, growing to about 30 feet wide at the bottom.

Once they were down in the hole, however, the group realized they didn’t have the strength or equipment to climb back out. Their companion at the top of the hole called rescuers, who arrived about an hour and a half later and used ropes to rescue the stranded adventurers.[ix]

Shark Bites Surfboard

On September 27, 2002, a man was surfing off O‘ahu’s Kāhala Beach when his surfboard was bitten by a shark estimated to be 4 feet (1.2 m) long.

Shark Bites Woman’s Foot

On October 30, 2002, a 62-year-old woman was swimming about 25 yards off of Kama‘ole Beach Park 1 in Kīhei on Maui’s south shore when she suffered deep wounds to her right foot, including damage to ligaments, tendons and an artery, in what is suspected to have been a shark attack.

Shark Bites Woman’s Arm

On November 17, 2002, a 33-year-old woman visitor from San Diego, California was severely bitten by a shark about 100 yards off of Maui’s Kā‘anapali Coast. She suffered wounds to her wrist, forearm and right shoulder. She stated that the shark was gray with a white-tipped tail, and more than 6 feet long.

[i] Windrow, John. 3 boys ride out Makīkī Stream: Water sweeps two a half-mile away. The Honolulu Advertiser, 1/27/2002.

[ii] Ishikawa, Scott. Teen hospitalized after eating plant. The Honolulu Advertiser, 2/22/2002.

[iii] Blakeman, Karen, and Hoover, Will. Diver discovers human leg off Hanauma Bay. The Honolulu Advertiser, 3/03/2002.

[iv] Clark, Hugh. Crash survivor recalls ordeal: Man found in tree after truck plummets 300 feet off cliff. The Honolulu Advertiser, 3/19/2002.

[v] Bodyboarder loses foot in shark attack: Brennecke Beach site of latest incident. The Garden Island, 3/26/2004.

[vi] More warnings needed by Hālona Blowhole. The Honolulu Advertiser, 7/5/2002.

[vii] Hurley, Timothy. Rescued kayaker happy to be back. The Honolulu Advertiser, 8/01/2002.

[viii] Firefighter rescued from inside lava tube. The Honolulu Advertiser, 9/13/2002.

[ix] Thompson, Rod. Hilo crews lift 5 out of lava hole: the explorers found they lacked the gear and strength to get out. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 9/25/2002.