VIDEO: Injured woman swimming near nursing Hawaiian monk seal and her pup in Waikiki

A woman was injured today when she swam too close to a nursing Hawaiian monk seal and her pup in a fenced area at Kaimana Beach in Waikiki.

In a video provided to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, an unidentified woman is seen swimming in Waikiki waters and encounters Rocky with her pup. Rocky lunges at the woman to protect her pup, as passers-by watch her gasp and yell at her to get out of the water. Another woman in the background can be heard repeatedly shouting, “Does anyone have a phone?” Dial 9-1-1. »

According to an HPD report, the incident was recorded as “medical assistance” at 8:28 a.m. today at 2855 Kalakaua Ave. No other details were provided.

The incident, which happened near the bounded section where Rocky gave birth to a male pup two weeks ago, lasts about two minutes as the swimmer tries to escape until a paddler come to his aid. Two bystanders are then seen helping to carry the woman to safety.

Hawaii Marine Animal Response and NOAA Fisheries monitored the two seals and raised public awareness on the spot. According to HMAR, the swimmer was transported by Honolulu Emergency Medical Services for further assistance. The swimmer’s identity has not been released.

“People are again being reminded that Hawaiian monk seal mothers with their young are protective, can be dangerous, and have inflicted serious injury on nearby swimmers,” HMAR said in a statement. “We continue to warn people not to engage in any activity in the water when a monk seal mother with pup is in the area and to stay at least 150 feet away from mother seals with pups… Should people have questions about where and when they should engage in water activities, please ask an Ocean Safety Lifeguard. Continued vigilance is advised for several more weeks until the mother monk seal weans her pup.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Hawaiian monk seal is one of the most endangered species in the world. Protected by federal and state laws, the population is estimated at 1,400 – about 1,100 seals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and 300 seals in the main Hawaiian Islands.

NOAA has previously said the public should maintain a distance of 50 feet to view monk seals and 150 feet for a pup with its mother.

Touching, harassing, capturing, injuring or killing monk seals is considered a Class C felony. Violators face jail time or fines.