Kayakers Rescued by Honolulu Fire Department and Coast Guard

The Coast Guard and Honolulu Fire Department rescued a group of kayakers offshore of Honolulu, Saturday.

Honolulu Fire Department received a call from one of a group of six kayakers at approximately 8 a.m. stating that some of their kayaks had overturned and  four people were in the water. HFD deployed a rescue helicopter, rescue boat, fire boat and engine and contacted the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center.

Sector Honolulu responded by issuing an urgent marine information broadcast to request the assistance of mariners in the area and launching a 45-foot Response-Boat Medium from Coast Guard Station Honolulu.

Upon arriving on scene the Coast Guard response boat crew rescued four people from the water and took one person aboard from a kayak. They were then able to recover three kayaks, and escort the sixth member of the group as he paddled to Kaimana Beach. The five people aboard the response boat  and their kayaks were taken to Ala Wai Boat Harbor with no reported injuries. Everyone was wearing a lifejacket.

Maritime accidents can occur quickly and without warning, even under the best weather conditions. Lifejackets, hand held marine VHF radios and signaling devices can greatly increase the chance of survival should the unexpected occur. Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands as well as residents should ensure they have appropriate safety equipment, weather information and experience before heading out on the water.

For more information on lifejackets visit www.uscgboating.org.

Sea conditions at the time were one to two foot swells, calm winds and clear skies. For more information contact the 14th Coast Guard District public affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

Uncle Abel Lui Returns to Kamehameha Statue and Plants More Taro

Today, Hawaiian activist Abel Lui returned to the King Kamehameha Statue on Hilo’s bayfront.

"Uncle" Abel Lui

“Uncle” Abel Lui

A small celebration was held where he and his family and friends were able to replant the Taro that was previously dug up by the County.

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From what I heard, they had a permit to plant the taro this time and from what I could see, there was no police presence and no efforts to stop them from planting the taro.

 

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When I arrived after my son’s soccer game down at Bayfront, there was about 100 folks gathered in support of Lui.

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Supreme Court of Hawaii Seeking Comments on Ammending Rules to Allow Use of Electronic Devices in Courtrooms

The Supreme Court of Hawaii seeks public comment regarding a proposal to amend Rule 5.1 and adopt Rule 5.3 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii. The proposal will allow the use of electronic devices in public court proceedings, subject to certain limits.

Comments about the proposed rules should be submitted, in writing, no later than Monday, June 3, 2013, to the Judiciary Communications & Community Relations Office by mail to 417 South King Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, by facsimile to 539-4801, or via the Judiciary’s website.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

High Tech Cameras Reveal The Secret Lives Of Kauai’s Endangered Seabirds

High tech cameras placed at remote breeding sites are providing insight into the secret lives of Kauai’s endangered seabirds. As part of the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project (KESRP), which is a state and federally funded project under the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife, in collaboration with the University of Hawaii Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, the 14 cameras were placed on Newell’s Shearwater and Hawaiian Petrel burrows during the breeding season last year to collect data on everything from the arrival of adults to the fledging of chicks.

Photo of two Newell’s Shearwaters at their burrow taken with an infra-red camera. Photo by Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project.

Photo of two Newell’s Shearwaters at their burrow taken with an infra-red camera. Photo by Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project.

“These cameras have provided us with a window into a side of the birds that we simply never see,” explained Dr. André Raine, KESRP coordinator. “Watching the birds returning to their burrows after a winter out at sea, preening each other at the burrow entrance or interacting with their chicks at night is really pretty special, but the cameras are also providing critical data to help save the birds from extinction.”

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The cameras are set on a trigger mechanism to take photos when something passes in front of the burrow entrance. Once the cameras are triggered, they take a rapid series of photos and only stop when the movement has ceased. This means that the cameras record birds entering or leaving their nest sites, or chicks exercising in front of the burrows throughout the breeding season. As the birds only come into their colonies at night, cameras are fitted with infrared flashes so that the birds are not disturbed.

“We’ve recorded birds from the moment they arrive on Kauai in March to the time their chicks depart in October to December,” Dr. Raine continued. “The cameras are a great way to collect data on a whole range of behaviors, such as when the chicks fledge and how often adults come to the burrows to feed their offspring. In this way we are increasing our understanding of exactly what these birds are up to while they are on our island.”

The cameras have also highlighted the threat of invasive species to these endangered seabirds, a problem that is facing Hawaii’s endemic wildlife throughout the archipelago. Cameras have filmed burrows being visited by both feral cats and rats throughout the study period, and have even captured the gruesome moment when a chick was eaten alive by a large rat.

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“One of the achievements of this work has been to highlight how vulnerable these birds are to introduced predators,” Dr. Raine said. “It doesn’t matter how remote the sites are, feral cats and rats are always present and these can have a dramatic impact on breeding colonies. The cameras showed that several of the burrows even had rat nests right at the burrow entrance and feral cats actively investigated burrows on multiple occasions.”

The collection of this type of data using the latest technology is important because Kaua’i holds 90 percent of the world’s population of the Newell’s Shearwater, making it vital for the global conservation of this species. The island also holds internationally important populations of the Hawaiian Petrel.  The data from these cameras is therefore invaluable in terms of guiding on-going introduced predator control efforts in remote montane colonies.

To see a selection of videos taken from these cameras, visit the newly launched Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project website at http://kauaiseabirdproject.org/

The National Weather Service Recognizes Ewa Beach as a StormReady/TsunamiReady Community

The National Weather Service will officially designate Ewa Beach as a community that’s prepared for storms and tsunamis.

National Weather Service

The west Oahu community will be recognized as StormReady and TsunamiReady during a ceremony today at the Pride for Ewa event. The weather service’s Honolulu office says a grassroots group spearheaded a campaign to prepare Ewa Beach to respond to these natural hazards.

Communities become StormReady with steps like developing hazardous weather operations plans and holding annual weather safety talks. They become TsunamiReady by promoting public readiness through community education and the distribution of information and developing a tsunami plan which includes holding emergency exercises. Ewa now joins Kailua and Hau’ula with this readiness designation.

Members of the Ewa Beach Emergency Preparedness Committee made up of volunteer Ewa residents will attend this weekend’s ceremony. Maj. Gen. Darryll Wong of the Hawaii National Guard will also be there along with State Civil Defense, Oahu Emergency Management and National Weather Service officials.

The ceremony will be held at 12:00 p.m. at the Pride for Ewa – Celebrating Ohana Together – Hoalauna Park, 91-1330 Keaunui Drive, Ewa Beach, HI 96706. The event is free and is open to the public.