DLNR NEWS RELEASE: DLNR monitors Waikiki flotilla for safety presencePosted on Apr 4, 2017 in Latest News
HONOLULU — Officers from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) joined with county and federal partners on this past Saturday to monitor the spring break “flotilla” occurring at Waikiki beach.
DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) Oahu branch stationed officers with a patrol vessel and on half a dozen jet skis to ensure safety of life at sea and take any enforcement actions necessary to lessen or prevent illegal activities.
In addition there were five plain clothes officers assisting Honolulu Police Department from shore.
There were several arrests for being under the influence of alcohol, illegal possession of alcohol and disorderly conduct. Alcohol and drugs can cause impaired balance, blurred vision, poor coordination, impaired judgment, and slower reaction times. Alcohol is also a major contributor to boating accidents and fatalities.
Hawaii state law prohibits anyone from boating while intoxicated — that is, operating a vessel while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotics, or other habit-forming drugs.
Since 2014 all individuals who operate a motorized vessel in Hawaii’s state waters must have taken a boating safety course and be able to show proof of certification. The regulations for compliance with BWI laws are a part of this course.
One example of how an on-water presence in a large crowd situation occurred Saturday when three DLNR Conservation and Resources Enforcement Officers (CREO) were stationed offshore approximately 300 yards from the beach, monitoring vessel traffic and providing support for the jet ski operators. At about 4 p.m. DOCARE officer Carlton Helm spotted a surfer in distress. He immediately took action and piloted the patrol vessel approximately 100 yards to the location. Two men in the water were attempting to rescue a third man. They had him floating on a small boogie board. He was convulsing and coughing up a large amount of water that he had apparently ingested. The two citizen rescuers were yelling for help.
CREO Helm immediately called for a fellow jetski operator to assist, and activated his vessel blue light, which alerted Ocean Safety personnel to immediately call for an ambulance and advanced life support. Fellow CREO Maui Lee responded to the area and loaded the convulsing subject on to his rescue sled, then maneuvered through the surf and a very crowded beach to the nearest lifeguard tower. On the beach, Officer Lee was assisted by Ocean Safety personnel to get the patient to shore, and the Honolulu Emergency Medical Services treated and transported the man to a hospital.
Robert Farrell, DLNR DOCARE Chief, who was also part of the marine patrol that day says, “I know these guys would consider this “just doing my job,” but I want to let everyone know that our job entails vigilance for potential hazards and public safety. Thanks to their alertness, this person was able to receive prompt medical assistance.”
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(All images courtesy: Hawaii DLNR)
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