October 14, 2021 Advisory Board

Advisory Board Meeting Minutes
October 14, 2021, 2:00 pm
Zoom Virtual Meeting

  1. Call to Order 2:04 pm. John Bravender, Roberta Chun, Tom Collins, Ethan Creps, Tom Eloph, Alan Hong, Cliff Inn, Duane Kim, Gary Lum, Gabe Nelson, Peter Pillone, John Titchen, Lorenda Ward, Susan Yamamoto, MST1 Blacklaw, BMC Chapman, Brad Lindsey, Bill Marhoffer, LT Dylan McCall, and LCDR Melvin Torres were in attendance.
  • Treasurer’s Report:
    • HOST bank account has $6,742.11. No charges beyond website hosting fees.
  • Old Business:
    • Honolulu Harbor Festival/Maritime Week 2022. The project is in a holding pattern for now, as Bill Anonsen will be looping Denise Yamaguchi in after the conclusion of the Honolulu Food & Wine Festival at the end of October. Pending COVID and other concerns, HOST continues to target Sept 22, 2022, as the festival’s date.
    • “If Found” sticker update:
      • Tom Eloph reported working with the printing company Nameplates For Industry to prepare stickers for printing, and to get a quote for the first run. He should have numbers in hand before HOST’s next meeting.
      • LCDR Melvin Torres expressed support of the project, even on a nationwide level, but communicated that the program would have to be pre-existing in order to get additional funding. He suggested that a first run of stickers be funded from sources other than the USCG, at which point he could lobby for more funding and wider support from the Coast Guard.
  • New Business:
    • Lorenda Ward of the National Transportation Safety Board presented on the active salvage of a crashed 737 cargo plane offshore Ewa. The cargo plane crashed on July 2, 2021, and recovery of the plane is currently underway. Lorenda stated that plans are in place to prevent impacts to endangered species and the environment as a whole.
      • Bill Marhoffer inquired whether an Oil Spill Removal Organization was under contract for the salvage operation. Lorenda Ward confirmed that Pacific Environmental Corporation is.
      • HOST will publicize the safety zone around the salvage area, which exists 1NM around the coordinates 21° 16′ 41.3671″N 158° 01′ 29.6662″W.
    • A discussion was held regarding kiteboarder’s impacts to safety on the water, and followed 2 separate issues:
      • Recent issues with kiteboarders interfering with commercial traffic in Kahului Harbor resulted in the agreement to establish a subcommittee to address the issue.
        • The western side of Kahului Harbor, which is open to recreational water activities, has seen a dramatic increase in novice kiteboarders recently. This is due to the favorable winds, flat water, and easy access of the location.
        • There have been an increasing number of risky interactions between kiteboarders and commercial traffic in the harbor, including an incident on October 13th, in which a kiteboarder fell directly in front of a cement barge in the harbor, forcing the tug operator to maneuver in a way that risked both life and property. This event has sparked concern among commercial operators as well as the State Harbors Division.
        • Duane Kim, Maui District Manager for DOT-Harbors detailed the incident as well as the causes and expressed interest in addressing the issue with HOST.
        • Ethan Creps stated that addressing this issue through education would be trickier than when HOST worked with Canoe Clubs on Oahu to improve interactions with commercial traffic because kiteboarders in Kahului are not part of organized clubs. He stated that working with local rental shops could be part of the solution, but recommended that HOST get ahold of the data and address the issue with a subcommittee.
        • A subcommittee was established to investigate and address this issue. Membership of the subcommittee will be established shortly.
      • Gary Lum, who was injured while surfing at Diamond Head as a result of a collision with a kiteboarder reported to the group about his experience and his efforts to have a kite-free zone established at Diamond Head. Gary’s finger was deeply cut by the kite’s line, but he considers the injury to be much less severe than it could have been if the line had hit his neck. Gary has dialogued with Ed Underwood of the DLNR as well as Senator Stanley Chang on this issue. HOST was glad to bring up this topic for discussion, with the understanding that HOST is not a regulatory body, but may help get the right folks talking to each other.
        • Discussed the increasing popularity and variety of ocean recreation types (SUPs, foil boards, kiteboards, wingboards, etc).
        • John Titchen of City & County Ocean Safety reported an increasing number of user conflicts as a new variety of ocean sports vie for the same areas. He reported having engaged the issue aggressively through public affairs and his office’s media presence. He also expressed that a root cause of the growing number and severity of conflicts can be tied to increase in popularity of ocean sports during the ongoing pandemic. A specific area he mentioned where user conflict was of concern to him was in Waikiki, where novice surfers share the waters with foilboarders. He also mentioned that kiteboarders on downwind runs in the vicinity of Diamond Head were a source of conflicts with surfers. Regarding the establishment of any activity-specific zones, John expressed that the rulemaking process should not rushed.
        • BMC Chapman reported that in different sections of Hookipa Beach Park on Maui that the County Lifeguards advertise & enforce separate zones for windsurfers and surfers.
        • Alan Hong discussed HOST’s previous role in helping establish swim lanes at Ala Moana Beach Park after numerous safety issues involving stand-up paddleboarders and swimmers. He also stated that in all cases where an activity-specific zone was established (ex. Point Panic bodyboarders), that the rule change came as a result of grassroots campaigning by the group of people who used the area.
        • Cliff Inn stated that in any rulemaking process, that DLNR’s priority is to work towards safe access to waters by all users, and that one group (ex. surfers) would not necessarily be given priority over another group based on claims of traditional use of a water recreation area.
        • Gary Lum mentioned that he would need to gather a group to campaign for the rule change he’s pursuing.
    • Email suggestions for General Membership Meeting topics to info@hosthawaii.org.
  • USCG Concerns:
    • MST1 Blacklaw introduced LT Dylan McCall, who introduced a request from the World Surf League to establish a safety/exclusion zone for the Big Wave Championships at Jaws/Peahi on Maui.
      • The WSL had reported a growing number of uninvited spectators in the water during the contest, and LT McCall expressed that a safety incident during the contest was a mater of “when” not “if”.
      • Bill Marhoffer inquired whether the contest was a permitted marine event. The answer was unclear.
      • Cliff Inn reported that the state-issued event permits are for non-exclusive use of the water, but that he will bring this question up to his administration. He asked for descriptions of the specific behaviors that the WSL was seeking to discourage. He also mentioned that tickets for “reckless behavior” are one enforcement action at the disposal of the officers.
      • The question of enforcement of a proposed safety zone is tricky, as the Coast Guard reports that its assets are not able to operate within the contest zone for enforcement. Cliff Inn suggested the WSL investigate hiring DOCARE.
      • John Titchen reported that prior to last year’s surf event cancellations, the WSL had “spun up” for an outreach to meet boaters at the launch ramps on contest days to educate and discourage them from encroaching on the contest zones. He mentioned this, as the WSL is already familiar with the idea.
      • HOST will stay engaged.
    • Bill Marhoffer reported that the Oceania Regional Response Team will be meeting virtually on Wednesday October 27th at 1100 HAST. Email Bill at william.r.marhoffer@uscg.mil for invite and details.
  • State of Hawaii Concerns:
    • Peter Pillone reported that maintenance dredging in Honolulu Harbor remains on hold, but that he should have an update in the next few weeks.
    • Cliff Inn’s comments are incorporated into the section above.
  • City and County Concerns (Ocean Safety Division):  
    • John Titchen mentioned that the City Council is considering breaking Ocean Safety off into its own department, much like Police & Fire have their own departments. The initiative would eventually become a ballot measure for public vote. From an administrative, financial, and public safety standpoint, John expressed that he supports the measure.
    • John reported that the number of visitors (at the beach) seems to be increasing and decreasing in waves, with much irregularity.
  • Coast Guard Auxiliary Concerns: LCDR Melvin Torres stated an interest in collaborating to a greater degree with C&C Ocean Safety. He offered to engage in Auxiliary education on topics addressed by the group.
  • NOAA Concerns: None.
  1. Hawaii Pilots Concerns:  Tom Collins reported interest in getting trainee pilot involvement in the kitesurf/commercial traffic subcommittee.
  1. Announcements: HOST email delivery issues continue.
  1. Next Meeting:          Advisory Board Meeting November 18th, 2021.
  1. Adjourn 3:30 pm.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *