Paddlers concerned about slippery safety hazard

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Paddlers say it’s a safety concern. A dock they use to launch their canoes has slippery algae growing on it. At least nine paddlers have slipped off the dock and into the Ala Wai canal, which happened at a popular city park.

Ala Wai Community Park is a huge park with a jungle gym, a basketball court, a baseball field, a bicycle path, and floating docks. One dock in particular is more like partially floating, partially submerged.

“It’s concerning,” paddler Kingston Dias said. “It’s gotten worse, I think.”

Dias is a member of Waikiki Surf Club, a canoe club based at Ala Wai Community Park.

A week-and-a-half ago, he had an unfortunate accident as they were trying to launch a canoe.

“The canoe was pointed this way and I was trying to turn it. And as I walked closer here, like right here, I just flew right off and just fell right into the water and I tried to grab onto the canoe. So as I did, there’s barnacles attached to the underneath here and I just scraped my leg really bad. When I came up, it was just pouring blood everywhere,” Dias said.

The Ala Wai isn’t exactly the cleanest body of water.

“That’s the first thing that came to my mind was like, ‘I got to get this cleaned.’ I don’t want to get any disease and have my leg cut off. I was really worried about that,” Dias said.

Coaches say this dock has been like this for months and they’ve tried to get the City to fix it.

“All it needs is another buoy to just lift it up out of the water and this algae will probably go away,” Dias said.

He pointed out the buoy that looks like it’s eventually going to get partially submerged.

Although there are four docks, the club uses the two in the middle the most since they’re the most convenient.

“It’s closest to the canoes,” Dias said.

Coaches say so far, six children and three adults, including Dias, have slipped off the slippery dock.

He is still recovering.

“There’s some pain. It’s better now than it was a week-and-a-half ago,” Dias said.

Thankfully, he had no infection.

A City spokesman said Tuesday night that the City owns the dock and will take appropriate action.

Dias just hopes it will get fixed before someone else gets hurt.

Anyone with a consumer concern, call Action Line on weekdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at (808) 591-0222 or send an email to actionline@khon2.com.

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