Jet ski citations to be challenged in court
By Sav D'Souza
9/15/2008 11:43:57 PM

Tome Stone operating a Personal Water Craft (PWC) during instructional training session in Morro Bay, New Zealand. Stone is contesting citations he received at Kaunakakai.
Two Maui residents are to contest citations they received for jet ski usage around Kaunakakai harbor back in May.

Tom Stone, who received a citation along with Darrick Doerner, said he had been offered a plea bargain on his last appearance in court for the two citations he received. This would have involved dropping one of the citations if he agreed to pay the other.
Stone said that he would be receiving legal representation for a further court date on Oct. 14. Speaking about why he would be contesting the citations, Stone said there were a number of factors. One involved his ability to use his jet skis for “transportation” reasons and not for “Recreational Thrill Craft Operations” as stated on his citation. Another reason is to hopefully get some clarity about the law regarding jet ski usage around Molokai.

Current rules enforced by the Department of Land and Natural Resources state that jet skis and other personal watercraft are legal on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Big Island, 500 feet from the shoreline (or outer fringe of barrier reef) to two miles off the coast, in certain designated areas. The bone of contention for some appears to lay in the fact that Molokai, like Lanai, are not specifically mentioned in the rules.
That there are grey areas and unclear rules have been admitted to in the past by DLNR officials. Back in March, Randy Awo, DLNR branch chief for Maui County, said that, “the discussion would be black-and-white if the legislators had said ‘no jet skis.’ But the state instead said that the area has to be designated.” Awo also said that the DLNR inherited the current boating statutes in 1996 and that they are presently, "the most convoluted rules ever written."

Back in May, the DLNR held an informal meeting to discuss the ban of jet skis on Molokai. Roughly three-quarters of those that spoke favored modifying the law. In June an open discussion was held on the issue of jet skis with two DLNR representatives. At both meetings, Nicholas Giaconi, DLNR’s district manager, suggested that an advisory committee be created for the issue.

Recently, Laura Stevens from the DLNR Public Information Department, said that the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) will be systematically reviewing its administrative rules and working to improve them over the next few years through a rule change process.

Stevens added that DLNR Staff are reviewing comments and assessing what steps should be taken moving forward. According to the DLNR, public opinion regarding the Molokai thrill craft meeting showed that residents were divided with the majority being against recreational thrill craft operations in waters surrounding Molokai.


Although I generally feel that there should be fewer government restrictions on people, I have to say I don't really see any public benefit to having jet skis.

They may be fun for the 1 or 2 people riding them and provide income to those who sell or rent them, but they are noisy and polluting for every other living thing around. Not good for the fish or ocean as I understand they leak oil or gas.

Transportation? It's possible... but sounds more like he's trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. I wouldn't really want jet skis on Molokai. Maybe he could try Lanai, they might go for it.
not a jet ski fan

9/16/2008, 9:11:44 AM