Beachgoers remove dangerous lay net in waters off Leeward Oahu

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Residents on the Waianae Coast say they took matters into their own hands to get rid of a major ocean hazard.

A fishing net that was left in a surf break could have caused serious injury. Not only that, it appears to have been left there illegally.

Pro standup paddleboarder Sam Pae noticed something unusual in the waters off Maili over the weekend.

“What is this net doing here in the middle of this lineup?” Pae said.

He saw the same net in the same spot for three days.

“I mean of course people lay net and stuff like that, but at least they remove it. But this one stayed there,” Pae said.

On Sunday, he and two friends took matters into their own hands.

“We went out there with our boards, five gallon bucket, knife, fins, goggles, and we cut it all up and just try to get it out,” Pae said.

The lay net was so long, it stretched from one side of the parking lot to the other. The Nanakuli resident also found a crab stuck in the net.

Pae says they removed what they could to prevent anything or anyone else from getting entangled, but he says they were only able to cut free less than half of the net.

Other people also saw the net in the water and say the fisherman who put it there didn’t follow state laws.

“And the soak time between the laws of the state and the federal and the nation allows you so much soak time which means time in the water for your net. He exceeded that time,” Maili resident Donald Clark said.

KHON2 called the state Department of Land and Natural Resources which says it will remove the net if the owner does not.

“It’s a sad situation. Somebody could have definitely gotten killed out there. There was a lot of people coming to this side of the island for the swell,” Clark said.

“The ocean can be a hazardous place. We don’t need human hazard to be there,” Pae said.

In these types of cases, the state usually removes the net from the ocean and takes it to a site near Honolulu Harbor where the net can be recycled.

KHON2 will follow-up with the state to make sure the rest of the net gets removed.

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