One of Southern California’s top vacation destinations is having a year that’s proving dangerous for tourists, and local leaders have their hands full.
On the Hawaiian island of Kauai, 11 people have drowned already this year. That pace is well beyond the four drowning deaths seen on all other Hawaiian islands in 2012.
Over the last decade, more than 100 people have drowned visiting the rugged island of Kauai. Most victims were visitors.
The number of tragedies is higher this year, critics say, because a guidebook series in enticing Hawaii-bound travelers off the beaten path and into beautiful spots.
In some of those areas, powerful waves can quickly and unexpectedly sweep beach-goers into the ocean in areas where no lifeguards are present.
One emergency room doctor on Kauai says drowning has “almost been a dirty little secret that Hawaii was willing to sweep under the carpet.”
Visit NBC Bay Area to see what’s being done to address the problem in Hawaii and to get the full report.