Vandals strike canoe club in Makaha

Police are investigating another case of vandalism at a canoe club, this time on the Leeward side of Oahu.

It’s not the first time this club was targeted, and members told KHON2 enough is enough.

It happened at the Makaha Canoe Club earlier this week.

The club, which has about 60 members, said it’s frustrated and wants whoever is doing this to just leave them alone.

“It’s crushing, it’s heartbreaking, it really is. It’s heartbreaking and it’s crushing,” Tahmi Cleveland, a board member for MCC, said.

“How can you steal from our children, the children of this community right here? It’s a small country community, it’s like – c’mon,” paddler Valerie Lawson said.

Lawson told KHON2 a custom made iako (spars the connect the outrigger to the hull) was taken from one of their canoes sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

“You need both of the iakos, so to take just one was just a total senseless act really,” Lawson said.

A senseless act that also put a damper on a planned event.

“Today we had planned to take three canoes out and have a scattering of ashes ceremony for a community member who had passed away,” Lawson said.

Instead only one canoe went out.

All of the canoes were moved into their halau since this isn’t the first time something like this happened.

We’re told paddles have also been stolen, and human waste has been found in canoes.

What happened in Makaha is just the latest in a string of crimes targeting canoe clubs across the island.

Members said the biggest question they have is why?

“I don’t have any clue why anyone would do this. Again anytime this happens, it’s an abhorrent sort of attack on culture and community,” Kalani Kaanaana, vice-president of the Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association, said.

OHCRA told KHON2 these acts of vandalism and theft are a new trend that it hasn’t dealt with before.

The association is reminding clubs to stay vigilant.

“We have to come together and we have to stop this kind of stuff,” Cleveland said. “A lot is happening on this island lately and it’s really sad to see.”

The iako that was stolen has the letters NAH on it. If you have any information, call police.

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