Thrill craft are restricted on North Shore
: On weekends, I notice more and more Jet Skis and boats inside the reef at Laniakea (one mile from Haleiwa) between Papailoa Street and Pohaku Loa Street. There are many snorkelers, divers, swimmers and paddlers in the water. Isn't this area restricted from boats and Jet Skis? Who is responsible for monitoring the area?
Answer: While there are no restrictions on motorized or sailing vessels in waters fronting the area you cite, Jet Skis are prohibited.
The area is not a designated Recreational Thrill Craft Zone, so personal watercraft (such as Jet Skis and WaveRunners) are supposed to be 3,000 feet from the shoreline and definitely not inside the reef, said Deborah Ward, spokeswoman for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
"Divers/snorkelers that far out should be diving with flags, which the Jet Ski people should observe and respect," Ward said. "Anyone in the water at surface level is at risk, unless equipped with a visual signal alerting others of their presence in the water."
Under current state rules, only divers are required to have a visual signal/dive flag, she said.
People operating personal watercraft are required to reduce speed when approaching a diver's flag.
Call the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, at 643-3567, to report any violations.
Ward explained that the department's Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation's Ocean Recreation Management Area has specific rules and regulations relating to commercial and recreational thrill craft, tow-in surfing and vessel operations.
Different areas each have separate designated Recreational Thrill Craft Zones and different maps.
The North Shore recreation management area extends 3,000 feet seaward of the high-tide water mark and runs parallel to the shoreline from Kaena Point to Kahuku Point, Ward said.
Recreational and commercial thrill craft operations are limited to specific areas within or outside a management area, while motorized vessel restrictions are specific to Kawela Bay, Sunset Beach, Sharks Cove, Three Tables, Waimea Bay and waters seaward of the Haleiwa Small Boat Harbor, she said.
Violators are subject to fines ranging from $50 to $1,000 and/or 30 days in jail.
For information on the use of personal watercraft, including required certification of operators, check www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dbor/bor_pwcs.htm.
To the gentleman who, on Sunday, Sept. 9, stopped and backed up next to our car as we waited in the left turn lane near Costco on Ka Uka Boulevard. He alerted us to the trail of coolant our car was leaving on the road, and to the smoke coming out from under our car. Thanks also to the person who tooted from the extreme right lane to call our attention to the problem and to a third person who came beside us to tell us about the smoke. We sincerely appreciate your thoughtfulness! -- Tanakas of Kailua
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