Emergency crews in Hawaii are searching for a 23-year-old tourist from California who was swept out to sea while exploring a notorious tidal pool on the island of Kauai.
According to a preliminary report released by the Kauai Fire Department, the unnamed woman was attempting to climb igneous rocks near the picturesque but dangerous area known as Queen’s Bath in Princeville on Wednesday morning when a large wave rushed in and washed her out to sea.
Her boyfriend and two friends reported seeing the woman floating face down in the water before she vanished from view.
A rescue helicopter is pictured over Kauai, Hawaii, Wednesday during a search for a missing 23-year-old tourist from California
Local firefighters, a rescue helicopter crew, lifeguards on Jet Skis, police officers and the US Coast Guard have all been searching for the missing woman, but so far there has been no sign of her.
Queen’s Bath is known to be very treacherous, especially in the winter months when the surf is high.
A high surf warning has been in effect for the north shore of Kauai since Tuesday, and the Queen’s Bath trailhead has been closed to visitors since last week.
According to the National Weather Service, surf near Princeville was 10-15 feet around the time of the accident Wednesday.
The Garden Island reported that the 23-year-old victim, who was vacationing in Hawaii from Los Angeles with her boyfriend and friends, hiked down a dirt path and climbed a fence bearing warning signs to reach the rocks around the sinkhole.
The Los Angeles woman was attempting to climb rocks surrounding the notorious Queen’s Bath tide pool (pictured) when a large wave rushed in and swept her out to sea
A high surf warning has been in effect for the north shore of Kauai since Tuesday, and the Queen’s Bath trailhead has been closed to visitors since last week
After she was swept away by a massive wave, her friends lost sight of her, then noticed her arm reaching out of the water, only to disappear again beneath the surface.
A few minutes later, the woman’s companions caught a glimpse of her unresponsive body clad in a white swimsuit being sucked under.
A US Coast Guard official said one of the witnesses reported that it sounded like the woman may have hit her head against something.
The rescuers suspended their search after sunset Wednesday, then resumed their efforts Thursday morning.