CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
The Coast Guard escorted the Hawaii Superferry into Kahului Harbor in Maui on Thursday. The Coast Guard said yesterday it was returning to the 100-yard security zone for transits of the Hawaii Superferry Alakai.
Coast Guard eases Kahului Harbor rule
The security zone returns to a 100-yard buffer enforced for all ships in transit there
KAHULUI » The Coast Guard has lifted its expanded security zone for the Hawaii Superferry in Kahului Harbor.
The Coast Guard said yesterday it was returning to the 100-yard security zone for transits of the Hawaii Superferry Alakai -- the same distance it enforces with cruise ships.
The change means surfers, canoe paddlers, fishermen, boaters and other recreational users may once again use Kahului Harbor at any time, provided they do not approach within 100 yards of the Alakai or any other large passenger vessel.
The Coast Guard adopted a temporary security zone that included almost the entire harbor on Thursday after a flotilla of surfers and swimmers blocked the arrival of the Superferry to Nawiliwili Harbor on Kauai in late August.
Maui protesters including Maui Tomorrow and the Hawaii chapter of the Sierra Club made no attempt to block the transit of the Superferry during protests last week.
Lucienne de Naie of Sierra Club Hawaii said she was happy that the security zone was returning to normal.
"Everyone's glad that the whole situation is moving toward a more sensible direction," she said. "There's no need for overkill, and it was depriving harbor users, which were completely innocent, of their use of the harbor."
The Coast Guard said the expanded security zone could be reactivated if needed.
"Adopting the temporary security zone was absolutely essential to give county, state and federal law enforcement officers the necessary tools to deter and, if necessary, respond to acts of unlawful demonstration in Kahului Harbor," said Coast Guard Capt. Vince Atkins, captain of the port.