Oregon man dies on Papohaku Beach

The strong currents and large surf at Papohaku Beach can be dangerous in the winter. On Friday, an Oregon-man died while swimming on the large West End beach. Photo by Sarah Minahan

High surf at Papohaku Beach may have contributed to the death of an Oregon man on Friday.

The 58-year-old man, Bradley Day of Estacada, Ore., was knocked down by a large wave on the West End beach Friday afternoon. According to Lt. Wayne Ibarra of the Maui Police Department, the call came in at 2 p.m. and officers arrived on the scene at 2:18 p.m. but it was too late.

Day was swimming with his grandson Friday in the “Tunnels” area of Papohaku Beach when he was hit by a large wave. The National Weather Service in Honolulu had posted a high surf advisory earlier that day for all north and west facing shores of Molokai.

Ibarra reported that the grandson pulled Day out of the water and tried cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but the older man died as police and fire officials were arriving.

An autopsy would be performed on Maui, said Ibarra, but no cause of death has yet been determined.


7 Responses

  1. Do vacation rentals on island put informaton addressing big wave action during the winter months advising the visitors of the conditions?

  2. If they don’t, they absolutely should. It is hard dto say what the individual homeowners do. When the surf is big on the west end, even the hardened surfers know to stay out of the water. The shore and bottom are rocky and the currents are vicious. It seems to happen about once a year on average that someone gets foolish. Dixie is the only safe swimming spot when the big NW swells are running.

  3. I wouldn’t call it “foolish” that a man was in the surf in a vacation area with his grandson.
    In Oregon, we have some of the most treacherous undercurrents and difficult swimming conditions in the world. The man you speak of was a friend, a dear man who knew what rough water was all about. If there were unusual conditions in the waters near this particular stretch of beach, common sense alone dictates that those renting properties near the water have a responsibility to warn those who may be venturing into them of unusual conditions peculiar to that region.
    Perhaps his family should file a lawsuit because no one told Brad that “Dixie is the only safe swimming spot when the big NW swells are running.”
    It is obscene to me that anyone would say that the death of a good man who was simply enjoying the day with his grandson should be labeled as “foolish.”
    You didn’t know him.
    You didn’t go to grade school with him, march with him in the summer band your dad directed or laugh when he got in trouble in the 6th grade for ticking off Mr. Carter. You have no right to even insinuate “foolishness” on his part.
    What you are saying is that this death could have been avoided had someone had the foresight to simply warn visitors of the inherent danger of the “NW Swells” in the water nearby. Perhaps someone in there will actually act and DO SOMETHING before another life is swept away.
    I can tell you this, everyone who knew Brad was touched by his life. He was just that kind of guy.

  4. I’m ashamed for this person, he simply should have know better by LOOKING as the surf conditions, it’s a wonder he didn’t take his grandson with him. MOST folks from Oregon realize the surf is nothing with which to fool. Thanks to the responders who tried to assist him.

  5. can’t speak for “seg” and his “foolish” comment, but i hope/think he meant foolish in act rather than being.

    i can say from my own experience that i regularly took up a position on a mound of rocks on the west end and let the day’s surf break over the rocks and wash over my legs and feet as i caught some rays. not until a “rogue” wave slammed me against said rocks taking my slippahs and ice cold coca cola with it, did i realize how “foolish” i had been all those times prior.

    kinda learned that lesson the hard way.

  6. I apologize for my haste in replying so quickly in my first post. I had just read the article after learning that my childhood friend had died in this accident and I reacted with a need to defend him after reading the word “foolish” associated with his death, beign particularly concerned for his family members.

    My poorly-made point is simply this, what looks obvious to a native of an area might look a lot different to someone visiting and that if warnings are not in place, lives could be saved if they were.

    Steve, I appreciate your comments. Helps with perspective.

  7. […] Oregon man dies on Papohaku Beach, 6 comments, 594 […]

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