12-03-2008, 10:18 AM #1
Hawaii drops PWC related charges against Kanalu K38, Tom Stone
Hawaii drops PWC-related charges against Tom Stone
State of Hawai'i drops charges against Tom Pohaku Stone
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 2 December, 2008 : - - Last week the State of Hawai'i dropped charges against Tom Pohaku Stone (Kanalu K38 and National Safe Boating Instructor) for entering the Kaunakakai Harbor in May 2008 to attend a public hearing using a Personal Watercraft as his mode of transportation to the island (jetski).
Hayden Aluli legal representative filed motions to dismiss based on Tom's ingress and egress rights, illegal enforcement tactics to issue the citations, as well as Tom's right to travel.
The rules and regulations governing use of PWCs or thrillcraft in Hawaii is very restrictive and needs to be changed. Most of the rules are really directed at tow-surfing and commercial uses, but PWCs are widely used throughout Hawaii and elsewhere in the world for more then just those activities. A PWC is actually a boat, a craft used for various ocean activities besides tow-surfing. Darrick Donner is awaiting his trial date on this matter and we expect all charges to be dropped also.
This us brings up the question - How is this going to impact PWC use in Hawaii? From my point of view the State should focus its efforts on near shore water use of this craft and commercial applications. As far as a ban on using these craft beyond a two mile limit is unenforceable and should be left to federal jurisdiction(USCG).
As for the assumed ban around Molokai and Lana'i that is questionable. Any supposed ban on the use of a PWC around any of these islands should be based community input from the entire community of Hawaii not just someone's dislike for the craft. As a native and resident of Hawaii if I want to visit these islands traveling by water I will.
The root of our problem regarding the use of a PWC in Hawaii stems from the lack of proper boating education and skill development. If you really believe that sit in a classroom is sufficient to allow a person to receive a certification to operate on of these craft you are mistaken. Our effort as an organization that has been trained and certified through recognized national guidelines to provide boating education inclusive of PWC use is what is required.
It does not matter if it is Kanalu K38 or whomever we should all be part of the accepted standards that promote boating safety. Without such process there will continue to be a lack of respect for other ocean users and community conflict. Practical (hands on) education policy is a must if we are to resolve this growing problem that is not unique to Hawaii only.
What is the resolve - proper practical education and not just a classroom certification because how do we know as instructors what the operational knowledge of the individual is when it comes to using a PWC?
It was this rush in 2001-3 to allow tow-surfing in Hawaii that has created this problem and today we are the ones to fix it by challenging the rules and regs, providing proper education and encouraging others to do the same using the accepted educational guidelines and methods for boating.
It is our responsibility to end the chaos and bad publicity we are receiving as PWC operators for individual egos by working with various agencies to move forward. If we do not promote change, sooner or later the State of Hawaii will be facing a major lawsuit if the responsible government agency continues to sanction the antiquated certification process that has been in place since 2003.
The State of Hawaii states that they can not be held liable but the responsible agency continues to promote the certification process on the State website. Now if that is not sanctioning then I don't know what is. All it takes is one lawsuit and we are all going to have a problem.
Change is coming led by myself, Darrick, Pake, Kanalu K38 and a host of others who have made surfing and ocean safety their life. The statements made here are my opinion based on my stand.
www.kanalu-k38.com What's your take on this
12-03-2008, 10:19 AM #2
This is a push in the right direction.....I'm leaving this morning for Hawaii. We are having our International PWC Safety Summit. I'll be staying with Darrick Doerner and Tom has been collecting all our K38 International affiliates from the airport...we will have Spain, Italy, UK, Portugal, Poland, Japan and the US in attendance. Looking forward to the Ohana gathering...
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