The greatest natural dangers to both visitors and residents of Hawai’i are within the ocean which surrounds each of our islands. Even when the ocean appears to be calm, there are potential dangers which even the most experienced and knowledgeable visitor or resident must bear in mind. Common sense and respect for the ocean’s forces should be exercised at all times.
We urge you to observe ocean conditions before entering the water. Waves arrive in groups, called “sets” which may be several minutes apart. The ocean may appear calm or flat when you enter the water. Minutes later you may encounter powerful sets of waves. Remain aware that waves can arrive unexpectedly and remember to never turn your back on the ocean. Most of Hawaiʻi’s beaches, including Polo Beach, change their configurations seasonally. These changes are caused by seasonal storms in various parts of the Pacific which in turn alter currents, wave action and the slope and amount of sand on our beaches. Because of the changing contour of the beach, a small wave can be deceptive. This is particularly true when and where a sandbar forms, causing waves to
break in shallow water.
The National Weather Service information for ocean currents, condition, weather and winds are posted daily at the beach pavilion. We recommend you watch Maui County’s Ocean Safety video outlining guidelines which may help you avoid accidents and injuries on channel 81.
Please read the signs and observe the flags each day at the Beach Pavilion before entering the ocean. There are no lifeguards at Polo Beach. In case of an emergency, please be aware there are 3 yellow rescue tubes located at the entry beach access point.
Red Flag: Hazardous conditions may exist. Swim at your own risk.
Yellow Flag: Ocean conditions may be dangerous due to jellyfish or man-of-war sightings.
To ensure the safety of our guests, we do not issue snorkel equipment or boogie boards when flags are present.
JELLYFISH: Toxic marine organism. Can cause pain and allergic reactions. NO swimming.
HIGH SURF: Large powerful waves. Can cause drowning -OR- serious neck and spinal injuries. NO bodysurfing.
SHARP CORAL: The lagoon area has a lot of coral and lava that can cause cuts to feet and lacerations to hands. Protective aqua socks are recommended.
STRONG CURRENT: Swift-moving channels of water that are difficult to swim against can pull swimmers out to sea, with risk of drowning.
Please note the signage that is posted which indicates beach and ocean conditions. Also, ask our beach attendants or county lifeguards questions about the specific ocean conditions. Should you be asked not to enter the water or leave the beach area completely, your compliance with their request is appreciated. In the event that you do not see any warnings, we suggest that you contact the beach attendant before entering the ocean.