8/16/20-WARNING SIGNS GO UP AT WAIMEA BAY ROCK ONE DAY AFTER ANOTHER BIG CROWDPosted on Aug 17, 2020 in DOCARE, Main, News Releases, OCCL, slider, slider
|DAVID Y. IGE
SUZANNE D. CASE
WARNING SIGNS GO UP AT WAIMEA BAY ROCK ONE DAY AFTER ANOTHER BIG CROWD
The Rock Closed Saturday
(Honolulu) – Before 9 this morning, not a single person stood atop the famous “rock” at Waimea Bay on O‘ahu’s north shore. Social media posts suggest that yesterday, it was a far different scene at the popular jumping spot. Hundreds of mostly young people crowded, shoulder-to-shoulder and mask-less, waiting for their opportunity to jump into the ocean.
DLNR in cooperation with the City and County of Honolulu announced the closure of the rock late on Saturday. DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “Despite weeks of asking people to physically distance and to wear masks when standing on the rock, clearly a lot of folks either weren’t getting the message or were simply ignoring it. This is the reason the decision was made to close it completely until after the COVID-19 crisis passes.” Under normal circumstances it would take several days to produce the necessary warning signs to tell people to stay off the rock. These are not normal circumstances, so a phone call from DLNR leadership to Dept. of Transportation leadership resulted in the immediate production of two, large metal closure signs.
DOT Highways Division Deputy Ed Sneffen said, “We appreciate the proactive steps taken by DLNR and the City and County of Honolulu to reduce the potential for large gatherings at Waimea. HDOT will continue to support our partners in their health and safety efforts.”
The DOT sign shop at Mapunapuna made the signs overnight and a team from the DLNR Land Division picked them up this morning and drove them to Waimea Bay. As people on the beach, who were largely physically distancing from one another, watched, the crew identified two locations for the installation of the red and white signs. One now sits atop the rock and is clearly visible from the beach, and the other is near its base.
Honolulu Major Kirk Caldwell commented, “Mahalo to DLNR for coordinating the installation of these signs, literally overnight. All of the hard-working men and women of the Honolulu Police Dept., the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) and Ocean Safety are going above and beyond to help keep people safe; not just from the threats of crime and drowning, and harm to our natural and cultural resources, but now from the threat of COVID-19.” DLNR Chair Case concluded, “We also appreciate the real sense of teamwork from all State and County agencies, not only on this project, but for the entire response to the coronavirus pandemic. Communication among agencies was quick. The City and County made the request, DOT made the signs in record time, the DLNR Land Division coordinated their placement hours after the closure announcement and Ocean Safety provided easy access to the area to ensure smooth operations. This is the way government should operate and now we’re just asking everyone to stay safe and to stay healthy by staying off the Waimea Bay rock until further notice.”
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Senior Communications Manager