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Contaminated Waikiki Boat Harbor Claims Mans Life After Plunge

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posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 10:48 PM
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Oliver Johnson survived falling or being thrown into Ala Wai Harbor during what may have been a scuffle, but succumbed to bacterial infections, including Vibrio vulnificus, believed to be caused by the sewage contaminated water, late Thursday, six days later. A witness said Johnson went into the water with open wounds and cut himself getting out. An investigation is under way, and samples will be forwarded to the CDC.



"You have a 34-year-old healthy man and he goes into the Ala Wai and within days he dies of massive infections. Where else would he have gotten it?" asked Stephany Sofos, a close friend of Johnson.

The city diverted nearly 50 million gallons of raw sewage into the ocean near the harbor after a 42-inch sewer main, stressed by heavy rains, cracked March 24.

In days, Johnson deteriorated from a healthy, athletic man to having his leg amputated and failing kidneys, lungs and liver, she said. He was admitted to the hospital Sunday after complaining of pain and trouble breathing.


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What a tragic situation, not only for this unfortunate young man and everyone close to him, but also for for the local environment and sealife. Contamination like this seems to be a sign of the times, as infrastructrure deteriorates and investment in maintaining it evaporates.

It almost makes me glad I am unable to surf anymore. What it really makes me feel is sad for our environment, concerned about its destruction, and frustrated with those responsible for seeing to the safeguards against this type of contamination and pollution.




posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 10:51 PM
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Actually the worse part is the fact that the SAND on Waikiki beach is more dangerous than the water. The bacteria from the water sticks to the sand, and takes longer to clean from the sun. But people don't realize it, and it's not really been publicized much here.

Oh and by the way? The original sewage spill had NOTHING to do with poor infrastructure or anything like that. It was caused by 43 days of continuous heavy rains.

See here:
www.abovetopsecret.com...

[edit on 4/8/2006 by Zaphod58]



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 02:54 AM
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Zaphod58 is right about the rain issue...my daughter landed in Hawaii for a layover on a flight from Micronesia last Saturday. She said it was still pouring...canals were overflowing, and they weren't even allowed into any outdoor pools.

It's been pretty bad here in Northern California, too, mega-days of rain, with lots of records broken. San Francisco got something like 9" in the month of March alone.

Feels like Seattle...



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 03:03 AM
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Sorry but I'm having trouble feeling bad for California if San Fran got 9 whole inches in March. Mt Waialeale on Kauai (wettest spot on earth) had 93 inches in March. We've met or passed our YEARLY rainfall totals already.



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 08:44 AM
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Could you guys bucket some of that up and send it this way?
We're in dire need of rain...way under where we should be.

You know we have at least one person (usually a young kid) die in the state of Oklahoma every year from bacterial infections caught while swimming in lakes. What I have learned on this is that the type of crud that is getting these kids here in Oklahoma requires entry through the nasal passages. So these tend to be kids doing cannon balls and stuff like that and having the water rush up their nose. Then they die!

All in all we've got some terrible junk floating around us when we're in fresh water lakes...and then, when you consider that most of your lakes some how end up in the discharge route from some city's water treatment facility, well...it makes you wonder how we all got to maturity to be quite honest.



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 08:54 AM
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God knows we have more than enough. Seven people on Kauai died during the storms when a dam broke and sent millions of gallons of water down the valley they lived in. Several other dams were in danger of breaking. At one point after the dam broke, they were pumping 2000 gallons of water a minute out of another resovior on Kauai to take the strain off the dam and keep it from breaking, and the water level went UP two feet. That's how hard it was raining.

This is a confusing story because initially he fell in or was pushed in, but then he told police he was assualted and they threw him into the Ala Wai. So no one really knows just HOW he got into the water. He apparently had an open cut on his leg, and they think that's how the bacteria got into his body. They almost immediately had to remove his leg, and a few days later said his other leg was dying and he was suffering from flesh eating bacteria. The day before he died they said that if he survived then he would lose the other leg, and probably both arms.



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 09:29 AM
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Dang, this was a very sad but also very interesting thread. I'd never imagine beach sand being contaminated.


And as for this young man's death, I was equally amazed that sewage is that dangerous. I mean I understand what is in it and how disgusting it is, but I've never even heard/read about the bacteria he fell victim to. Has anyone else here?



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 09:37 AM
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o.p. by Zaphod58
Oh and by the way? The original sewage spill had NOTHING to do with poor infrastructure or anything like that. It was caused by 43 days of continuous heavy rains.


I was basing my opinion on the information contained in the article I read and linked to in my original post. Excerpt below. I know Hawaii has had extra heavy rain this year, but aging infrastructure is also partly to blame, imo.



Sofos called the sewage spill a "catastrophe" that could have been prevented if city officials had upgraded the aging sewer main, which was noted in a 2004 consultant's study as "extremely critical."
"The death of my friend is on the hands of all of them. This should not have happened. He should not have died," Sofos said.

City officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 09:39 AM
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I was just reading up on it. I don't think that's what killed him. It's actually a pretty common bug from what they're saying. It's the same thing that makes you sick when you eat raw oysters. It's more dangerous if you are immunosuppressed it sounds like. However, combined with the flesh eating bacteria, and whatever the third bug was it sounds like they all combined and just overwelmed his body.


Edit: Oops, never mind. I should have read this link first. It causes Septic Shock. My mother had that and almost died from it. That's a nasty thing to get, and if you have other infections on top of that it'll kill you. It's 40% fatal in infections, and 20% fatal in wound infections.



[edit on 4/9/2006 by Zaphod58]



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by Icarus Rising
I was basing my opinion on the information contained in the article I read and linked to in my original post. Excerpt below. I know Hawaii has had extra heavy rain this year, but aging infrastructure is also partly to blame, imo.



Sofos called the sewage spill a "catastrophe" that could have been prevented if city officials had upgraded the aging sewer main, which was noted in a 2004 consultant's study as "extremely critical."
"The death of my friend is on the hands of all of them. This should not have happened. He should not have died," Sofos said.

City officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.


This PARTICULAR main may have been old, but we had new mains burst, and sewage tanks overflow, so the contamination would have been there anyway even if this had been a new pipe. ALL of the beaches here were contaminated with sewage, even when there were no mains anywhere remotely near them.



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 10:36 AM
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It sounds a bit like his friend is trying to make a case against the city for the main, and blaming his death on that. You swim anywhere warm, with open cuts, you risk serious infection. Sensible people left the warm climates a long time ago.


I'm pretty sure the decades of sewage dumping didn't help him, but pinning down the cause of death is not as simple as "he went in the bay - there was sewage in the bay - he died - sewage killed him."

He DEFINTELY could have gotten the necrotizing fascitis/septic shock from an infection with or without sewage in the bay.

If you go swimming in warm water with open cuts, you are opening the door to some VERY nasty customers. I'm sure this will be pinned on the sewage, and by proxy the city, but I think that's really only a partial answer.

The city and the sewage it produces are making the problem much, much worse. Slow, warm water, and they want to pour millions of gallons of fertilizer into it.
It's almost like they're trying to increase terminal infections.

Interesting info on water samples taken from the area, and more:
www.jyi.org...

They shouldn't dump sewage into the bay, obviously. But at this point, one storm's worth of crap into the Ala Wai is like a teaspoon into a dumptruck. I had never heard of the place before, but after about half an hour of reading on the subject, it appears to be the Taj Mahal of cesspools.

Take note Florida, this is a serious problem facing you as well. I had never thought about it before, but the places getting hammered really awfully recently by infections are mostly coastal, in addition to the ubiquitous heat. The link above had an interesting note about transmission through sand, and beaches. It could be another avenue to address when trying to combat drug-resistant infections in places like Florida.

I doubt the doctors down there consider sand a serious risk factor, when identifying the vectors of infection. Maybe they do, I don't know.



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 12:14 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
Sorry but I'm having trouble feeling bad for California if San Fran got 9 whole inches in March. Mt Waialeale on Kauai (wettest spot on earth) had 93 inches in March. We've met or passed our YEARLY rainfall totals already.


Well...I certainly have a hard time feeling bad for anyone who gets to live in Hawaii


Seriously, though, if these weather patterns continue into the coming years we're going to see some truly major problems with infrastructure. Large portions of our northern Central Valley are only available as dry land because of an extensive system of dikes and levee's, most of which are suffering deterioration because of aging. It is going to require some major infusions of money if this keeps up.

I have to admit, after listening to your account, that our California rainfall seems paltry in comparison...that is, we haven't had the resulting crisis situations from our weather that you have...but, over the long haul, California's infrastructure simply isn't ready for the continuous levels of rainfall we have seen this past season. Our roads are already bad, now they are getting worse, with mudslides becoming an issue.

Infusions of money are going to be required and who knows where we'll get it. Oh, wait...is that the Taxman I see coming up the driveway?


Stay dry...



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 12:36 PM
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Originally posted by Landis

And as for this young man's death, I was equally amazed that sewage is that dangerous. I mean I understand what is in it and how disgusting it is, but I've never even heard/read about the bacteria he fell victim to. Has anyone else here?


Yeah, contaminated water is a major source of disease in underdeveloped nations, and has been a problem throughout history. Cholera, Dysentery, and, I think, Hepatitis and Diphtheria, as well as Polio. Here is a link to a very basic overview:

www.mwra.state.ma.us...

Human health got a major boost when we learned not to poop and pee near our drinking water.

And, as Valhall noted, the amount of crap not related to sewage which is ending up in our lakes and rivers due to runoff is a real problem. Here in California we have the wonderful MTBE issue to deal with. It's a gasoline additive, which has since been banned, because it is quite miscible in water and is showing up in a lot of our water supplies, with some being closed because of the contaminant.



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 03:47 PM
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Yes, I do believe we are 'crapping in our messkit' on a global scale, and Mother Nature is kicking in with a helping hand of increasing deluge and destruction. The problem is accelerating exponentially while our efforts to keep pace are hampered by bureaucratic nonsense and warmongering.



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