DLNR Holds Public Hearings on Proposed Rule Requiring Boater Safety Course Completion

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold public hearings on proposed adoption of Title 13, Section13-244-15.5, HAR, Operation of Power Driven Vessels on May 30 and 31, 2012.

The proposed new rule:

  • Requires that boat operators obtain a certificate of completion from a State of Hawai‘i and National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved course on the safe use and operation of certain power driven vessels
  • Sets a minimum age of 15 for operating a vessel unsupervised
  • Establishes a fine between $50 and $1000 for violators
  • Exempts those possessing a valid license to operate a vessel issued for maritime personnel by the US Coast Guard
  • Goes into effect 24 months after the rule is signed by the Governor.

“Nationally, the experience many states have had is that boating education not only save lives, it also reduces accidents. And if fewer vessels run aground that’s less we expend to remove them from our nearshore areas,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson.

“The Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) has paid out in excess of $860,000 in the last 10 years to remove boats that ran aground or sank in State waters,” he said. “Completion of a safety education course benefits everybody because it means improved safety, and less marine debris and hazardous materials in our waters.”

“It also means that our boaters must understand rules and regulations which protect marine life,including protected species like the humpback whale, monk seals, and sea turtles.”

Related agencies supporting this proposed rule include:

  • National Transportation Safety Board
  • NASBLA
  • The US Coast Guard Auxiliary in Hawai‘i
  • Honolulu Sail and Power
  • Squadron and the Hawai‘i Ocean Safety Team

If the rule is adopted DOBOR will have two years to develop and prepare NASBLA- and State -approved boating safety courses before it takes effect. One on-line course is already available, but the division’s goal is to foster development of numerous fully approved on-line and classroom courses as well as a home-study course within a year’s time so the public will have choices and ample time to comply with the rule.

The public hearings will be held as follows:

  • O‘ahu: May 30, 2012 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Aiea Elementary School 99-370 Moanalua Road, ‘Aiea.
  • Kona: May 30, 5 to 7 p.m. at Honokohau Harbor Fishing Club, Honokohau
  • Maui: May 31, 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Maui Waena Intermediate School, 795 Onehe‘e Ave, Kahului
  • Hilo: May 31, 2012 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the State Office Building, 75 Aupuni Street
  • Kaua‘i: May 31, 2012, 6 to 8 p.m. at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, 4431 Nuhou Street, Lihu‘e

All interested parties are invited to attend and to present their views, either orally or in writing. Written statements may be submitted at the public hearings or to the DLNR Boating Division, 33 Queen Street, Suite 300, Honolulu Hawaii 96813, attention Administrator up to one week following the hearing date. Or by e-mail to dlnr.harreview@hawaii.gov

The rule may be reviewed online at http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dbor/bordraftrules.htm or can be reviewed in person at any small boat harbor from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday, except holidays. If unable to review online or in person, a copy can be mailed after payment of the required fees for postage and paper (per 91-2.5 HRS) upon verbal or written request to: the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, 333 Queen St., Suite 300, Honolulu, HI 96813, Ph: 587-0142.

One Response

  1. Aloha
    To dlnr why do you guys think that this law will solve such problems. Don’t you guys think that this will hurt a lot of fishermen that depend on fishing for there lively hood. I think you guy should check your selves before you pass any law like this. Mr.Aila you call your self a hawaiian put yourself on the other side of the coin. Really look at your whole department before you and the rest of the state start passing laws with out working with the people, I guest thats what higher ups do forget where they came from and this is not for dlnr department it goes to the state leaders. So on this note I OPPOSE this law. Aloha

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