Keeping the public safe on the water is part of the aim of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
It’s a story we’ve been keeping track of and on Sunday morning, enforcement officers were out at a popular recreation spot known to have its fair share of safety concerns.
DLNR was out at Maunalua Bay educating the boaters and others about the rules and regulations of the state.
We’re told many people use this bay however there are also many people who unknowingly break the law and risk the safety of others.
It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt and that’s what DLNR is hoping to avoid.
“These crafts that are out here have no brakes so you’ve got to realize that they’re meant for high speed, sharp maneuvering,” Carlton Helm, an enforcement officer with DLNR, said.
Enforcement officers were on the ground and on the water Sunday morning at Maunalua Bay. It’s one of the busiest bodies of water in the state.
A sign near the boat ramp lets visitors know their boundaries but it’s not always seen.
“Most people don’t know a lot of the laws and ordinances and regulations that’s going on, especially here in Maunalua Bay,” Helm said. “In such a small area, you got a lot of users and if people aren’t educated, it can cause for some danger.”
Officers checked for things like proper permits on commercial boats, certificates on jet skis and fishing violations.
“The whole point of today is to first interact, educate the public, this is almost that free pass day in a sense unless its a gross violation,” Helm said.
We’re told officers made contact with five vessels, one of which was sent back to shore for not having an operator’s permit.
DLNR also checked boats getting ready to launch.
“They just basically checked to see if we got our boater safety course done and registration and everything was in order if we had our proper life jackets, safety equipment on board,” said Craig Gunderson, a regular visitor to the Bay.
“We wanna make sure if something does happen, you can react appropriately and like anything, we want people to have fun and have fun safely,” Helm said.
DLNR will be hosting a workshop next weekend to give the community the chance to discuss regulations and ask questions.
It’ll be held on Saturday, February 25 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at Koko Head Elementary School.