Amusing Monday: Some places on Earth are too dangerous for swimming

For people who love to swim, the allure of water can be overwhelming. Most people enjoy a sandy beach where waves lap gently on the shore. A few demand the thrill of a 50-foot breaker as they ride their surf board on the edge of tragedy.

For swimming, there is a place in Hawaii that has become known for both extremes, depending on weather and sea conditions. It’s called Queen’s Bath, and it is on the northern edge of Kaua˙i. The first video begins with the pleasant waters of this tide pool, once reserved for royalty.

At 1:49 in the video, we begin to see the dangerous side that occurs when big waves crash over the entire area. As the music on the video turns sinister, notice that people are no longer in the picture. The video was produced by HawaiiGaga.Com, which specializes in Hawaiian vacation rentals and provides useful information for visitors.

I first learned about Queen’s Bath this past weekend when my wife Sue pointed out a video that apparently has been circulating for three years with a total of 4.3 million page views. The video — second on this page — is titled: “Dead Pool: See why it’s called the pool of death.” It’s a thrilling video, and swimming is not recommended in this area that has a direct opening to the sea.

Actually, it appears to me that the title needs to be corrected. Queen’s Bath is not called the “pool of death,” according to sources that I would consider authoritative. That title has been applied, however, to another location on Kaua˙i called Kipu Falls. The site, which was featured in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark, is on private property. The owners have declared it off-limits to the public following a series of deaths and injuries, according to Hawaii News Now and other sources.

The “Dead Pool” video, while thrilling, was not actually filmed at the Queen’s Bath but at a tidal precipice on the way to Queen’s Bath. The aerial photo by labels the tide pools and describes the hazards along the way.

“Although the scenery and bath are a pleasant excursion for capable hikers, like many ocean attractions on Kaua˙i the area should be approached with caution,” states the description. “Visiting the Queen’s Bath without appreciating the potential hazards can be deadly….

“Many are confused about the location of the tide pool,” the webpage points out. “There are other areas where it is also possible (but more dangerous) to swim.”

The labels on the aerial photo show two other tidal areas, one near the open ocean that should never be attempted and one mentioned as “a popular spot for locals who like to jump off the 15-foot ledge,“ says the website. “As alluring as it looks, don’t be tempted to swim here. The inlet is subject to massive turbulence and exiting can be difficult.”

There’s another crazy video that shows a boy being washed off the cove’s ledge during a huge tidal surge. After he escaped the raging waters, an interviewer asked what the experience felt like. The boy’s answer: “Like being flushed down a toilet.”

Perhaps the final word comes from a segment featured on Inside Edition (third video this page). Posted in February, the story mentions the death of 23-year-old Lucy Cheng of Los Angeles, who was swept out to sea by a rogue wave last December. Queen’s Bath can be both beautiful and treacherous, as Inside Edition’s chief correspondent Jim Moret describes. Gates to the area are closed by local authorities when the waves become too dangerous, but perhaps Queen’s Bath is one place that some people should never go.

Other videos of beautiful and dangerous places:

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