20 Places You Should Never Ever Swim

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Hanakapiai Beach, Kauai

Hanakapiai Beach, Kauai

Hanakapiai Beach is beautiful. Far from the beaten track, with no vehicular access, a significant trek is required to reach its golden sands. Remote and scenic, this is Hawaii at its spectacular best. Lie back and soak up the sun — but don’t think about going in the water.

The ocean here is perilous, with powerful waves, strong rip currents and dangerous shore breaks that have claimed countless lives. The official line is that around 30 people have drowned here since 1970. Yet the grim warning sign that greets visitors puts that number far higher.

Regardless, there can be no question that to swim here is to take a huge risk, with the immense currents sweeping the unprepared far out to sea without any warning, and the bodies of innumerable drowning victims never recovered. This might look like the perfect place to swim, but please heed the warnings and don’t be foolish.