Shangri La to fence off portion of popular swimming spot

Shangri La, Diamond Head

Steps are being taken to make a popular swimming spot a little less dangerous.

Locals and tourists alike have been known to frequent an area known as “Cromwells” behind the late Doris Duke’s Shangri La mansion in Diamond Head.

It was originally built as a harbor, but now people use it to swim and even dive off rocks.

The problem is the shallow water can cause people to get hurt. In separate incidents, two people were paralyzed for life.

“We’ve tried signage, we’ve tried security guards without much success,” said Shangri La executive director Debra Pope. “We’re taking this next step of erecting a fence with the approval from the state Dept. of Land and Natural Resources and the city Dept. of Planning and Permitting.”

The city says it approved a building permit last month for a six-foot high ornamental metal fence that will run roughly 200 ft. along the sea wall.

Museum officials say the fence is designed to keep people from jumping or diving into the water.

“The materials it’s made of is designed to deter people from climbing over and also designed to withstand force,” Pope said. “We’re very much hoping that together with the signs that people get the message that it’s in their best interest, for the case of public safety, that they shouldn’t be jumping over it.”

The fence is expected to take about a month to install.

But some aren’t happy with the change.

“This is just a spot where we like to come and hang out,” said swimmer Sean Blanco. “We don’t feel like a few incidents, even though they may be bad, but it shouldn’t have to have everyone punished for it.”

The museum says people will still be able to swim during that time and, once the fence is up, the public can still access the water from either side of the boat basin.


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