HONOLULU — Portions of the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Haleiwa small boat harbor are being used as an emergency command center authorized by the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, and set up by the Honolulu Police Department during multi-agency rescue efforts today for the missing crews of two Marine Corps helicopters which collided last night off Haleiwa. Officers from DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement are assisting by checking the shoreline from Waialua to Kaena Point for any debris.
Entry roads to the harbor, one boat launch ramp and a trailer parking area are blocked as emergency vehicles and search helicopters are using the harbor premises.
High surf conditions, including 30 foot waves over the harbor breakwater, are expected to peak this afternoon and evening. Although boaters may still use one launch ramp closest to Haleiwa Joe’s, they are advised to check marine advisory warnings calling for very high surf. Forecasters are predicting a large and dangerous swell that could bring waves as high as 40 feet to the north-facing shores today.
The Coast Guard is urging people to stay out of North Shore waters, citing a debris field from the collision of the helicopters that stretches for miles.
The adjacent Haleiwa Alii Beach Park will be closed to the public on Friday as crews use the beach as a recovery area in an ongoing military rescue operation, according to the Department of Parks and Recreation.
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DLNR Communications Specialist