08/30/13 – DLNR Presence Planned Over Labor Day Weekend To Ensure Safety, Rules Compliance, Protect Resources

Posted on Aug 30, 2013 in Aquatic Resources, Boating & Ocean Recreations, News Releases, State Parks

DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
News Release

NEIL ABERCROMBIE
GOVERNOR
WILLIAM J. AILA JR,
CHAIRPERSON

For Immediate News Release August 30, 2013

DLNR PRESENCE PLANNED OVER LABOR DAY WEEKEND
TO ENSURE SAFETY, RULES COMPLIANCE, PROTECT RESOURCES

HONOLULU — The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is reminding the public it will be enforcing all state rules this Labor Day weekend in state harbors, parks, beaches and marine waters in the interest of public safety and to protect natural and cultural resources.

In addition, officers will be conducting both land and waterborne enforcement operations at Heeia Small Boat Harbor and Ahu O Laka in Kaneohe Bay. As part of their normal duties, officers will be boarding vessels on a random basis to verify current registration and compliance with carriage requirements and all state rules. Vessels going out more than one mile from shore must be equipped with an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or VHF radio, and any child under age 13 MUST wear a properly fitting U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD while the vessel is underway or anchored offshore. These laws are designed to protect all ocean users. Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation staff will be present at Heeia Small Boat Harbor over the weekend, monitoring the launch ramp and parking lot areas.

Officers will also be addressing activities that could affect public health and safety at the Kaneohe Bay Sandbar. The new safety zone state boating rule enacted last year prohibits the possession, use or consumption of alcohol; loud, abusive or disorderly conduct; and the presence of persons under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or non-prescription drugs in an area designated as the Ahu o Laka safety zone (also known as the Kaneohe Sandbar) in Kaneohe Bay.

Violators may be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 or less than $50 for each violation, in addition to administrative fines, fees, costs and damages. Persons cited will be processed administratively at a public meeting before the Land Board. Persons wishing to contest the infraction(s) may request a contested case hearing.

Here are some helpful reminders to encourage compliance with rules for public health and safety and to protect natural and cultural resources:

FOR BOATERS:
Holiday weekends mean more boats, as well as fishers, divers, paddlers and surfers in nearshore waters. For safety, have someone act as a lookout for diver and dive flags, other vessels, obstructions in the water and other hazards to navigation.

All boats, personal water craft and kayaks are required by federal and state laws to be equipped with approved operational safety equipment. Rules and regulations established by DLNR and the U.S. Coast Guard also prohibit vessel overloading, and boating under the influence of intoxicants.

Boats should have a designated non-drinking driver because the effects of alcohol are greatly amplified by the sun and dehydration. Boating under the influence is prohibited under state law.
Every boat owner should inspect their vessel to make sure it is in good working condition and prevent problems while on the water,

Take a boating safety course. It can save your life. For more information go to http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dobor/

FOR DIVERS AND FISHERS:
Divers are required by law (HAR 13-245-9) to use a diver’s flag when diving or swimming underwater in navigable waters and may surface no more than 100 feet from their dive flag (50 feet in a navigable stream).

A 12-inch square dive flag may be attached to a float or mounted on the highest point of a vessel up to 16 feet in length and visible from all directions. Vessels over 16 feet must display a 20”x24” flag along with a blue and white alpha flag mounted at the highest point of the vessel and visible from all directions.

Vessels are prohibited from approaching within 100 feet of a displayed diver’s flag (50 feet in a navigable stream) unless conducting SCUBA, snorkeling, or free-diving activities. These vessels may approach within the restricted area at a speed of slow-no-wake. Violations of HAR13-245-9 are subject to imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

AT THE BEACH AND PARKS:
Park rules are designed to help users have an enjoyable visit while protecting the cultural and natural resources. Always observe and adhere to posted signs in the parks. In addition, you can help us by observing the following rules.
Where not prohibited, build fires in the fireplaces and grills provided. Portable stoves or warming devices may be used in designated camping and picnicking areas unless otherwise prohibited. Dump live coals only in designated ash pits or receptacles. Do not dump hot coals on the beach or bury in sand. They keep their heat a very long time and can badly burn anyone that might accidentally step into the coals.

GENERATORS: Operation or use of any portable electric generator is prohibited, except with a special use permit.
Pets and other animals are prohibited wherever posted, and are not allowed in restaurants, pavilions, swimming areas, campgrounds, lodges, or on beaches, and at Kaena Point State Park. Where permitted, pets are to be crated, caged, on a 6-foot or shorter leash or otherwise under physical restrictive control at all times. Please clean up after your pet. For more information, go to www.hawaiistateparks.org

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For more information news media may contact:
Deborah Ward
DLNR Public Information Specialist
Phone: (808) 587-0320