Point Panic Dive Guide
Dive Type: Shore Dive/Reef (South Shore)
Difficultly: Beginner/Intermediate (Depending on surf and current)
Average Depth: 20 feet (Boat channel by the entry); 50 - 60 feet (Horseshoe reef); 25 - 30 feet (Mid-Pipe)
Ideal Wave Conditions: Ideally flat; 1-2 ft or lower will work, but anything higher will toss you around. Keep in mind that the entry is a staircase into a boat channel; the more surge there is, the more you'll get tossed around making entry and exit extremely challenging.
GPS Address: Point Panic, Honolulu, HI 96813 (Google Maps)
Amenities: Showers, bathrooms (closed until March 2020), small park area
Parking: Paved parking with a decent number of spots. Lock up your valuables.
Family-Friendly: There is no beach for the family to hang out at. There is a small park that has been recently renovated.
The entry for this site is a concrete staircase into a boat channel. The bottom steps are EXTREMELY slick and divers frequently slip if they aren't careful. Be sure to read the entry/exit notes carefully.
This site can have rough waves and current, especially near the rock wall and the entry point. We advise that you don't go out if there are large waves crashing on the rock wall, or if it looks like the boats are getting rocked a lot.
This dive involves a long surface swim (about 400 meters).
Don't get too close to the rock wall; it's called "point panic" for a reason. It gets shallow quickly, and you'll be tossed around in the current. This area is also subject to heavy cross currents (east and west).
Keep in mind that this area has a very high amount of boat traffic. Please be sure to use a dive buoy and flag.
After heavy rainfall or high surf conditions visibility can drop significantly.
We don't recommend diving this site from shore at night. Its risky with the amount of boat traffic out there.
Dive Site Maps:
(Base map courtesy of Google Maps)
More Maps Coming Soon!
Entry Type: Entry is down a concrete staircase to the east of the parking lot. The bottom of the steps is extremely slick, so we recommend you use the railing the entire way down. During low tide, you can see a few large rocks below the staircase (that can help you get up, but also make it harder to enter/exit). Watch for the timing of the waves; ideally you want to enter and exit when the water is high against the steps, and not washing away from them. Watch out for the boat wake that will create a rough entry/exit.
Summary: This is a popular dive training site located on the south shore, near the Kewalo Marine Laboratory. Once you enter from the staircase, you'll swim south, parallel to the boat channel. Remember that the area between the red and green buoys is a boat channel, so stay to the west! Once you swim south of the 2nd green buoy, you can drop down and choose which spot to visit. To the northwest is Horseshoe Reef (named for the shape of the reef). To the west is the Kewalo pipeline, which you can follow south to pipe discharge. To the north/northeast is Secrets Reef. Be aware that there is a lot of boat traffic going in and out of this area with charters. If you have to approach the surface for any reason, deploy a surface marker or come up near your dive flag buoy.
Kewalo Pipe: Coming Soon!
Secrets Reef: Coming Soon!
Horseshoe Reef: Coming Soon!
Be On the Lookout (BOLO): Sea turtles, sharks, spotted eagle ray, manta ray, monk seals, eels, lobsters, octopus, nudibranches.
Pro Tip: If you have a DPV, this is the spot to use it! You can easily get to the Sea Tiger, Horseshoe Reef, Secrets, and Kewalo Pipe.