Mangrove tree grows out of state patrol boat sitting idle for over a year

Courtesy: Carroll Cox
Courtesy: Carroll Cox

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A state Department of Land and Natural Resources enforcement boat meant to patrol Hawaiian waters has been sitting idle for more than a year.

Now, a small mangrove tree is growing out of the engine and the propellers are encrusted with sea life.

At Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor sits a 29-foot state vessel, and that’s just what its been doing for a year and a half.

The 1992 Munsen belongs to the DLNR and is in need of repair.

“Doesn’t look good and shows they are not using this vessel,” said Caroll Cox with Envirowatch.

Cox points out the leaves sticking out of the back of the boat.

“There is a mangrove tree growing out of one of the engines,” Cox said.

KHON2 contacted the DLNR to get to the root of the issue.

They say the boat was used for various ocean enforcement efforts for more than 15 years.

Over time, it required more and more money to maintain it.

It was recommended that the vessel be de-commissioned and taken out of service. But that never happened.

“But it’s sitting here and look at the trim tabs, they are encrusted with sponge, coral, and algae,” Cox said.

After Cox and KHON2 questioned the DLNR, the state hired a crew to haul the boat out of the water.

The DLNR says it should not have been allowed to remain there and deteriorate, and is looking at the best options for disposing of it.

“Hopefully the DLNR immediately addresses this, replaces this vessel with a working one, and get to business for patrolling and being available to patrol and response to emergencies,” Cox said.

When the boat was left idle, the DLNR brought a new boat as a replacement. So, at no time was there a lack of equipment to do patrols.

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