Coast Guard Rescues 8 From Burning Ship Offshore Oahu

The Coast Guard rescued eight crewmembers from a burning ship two miles offshore Oahu, Thursday.

Lady Anna

Eight people are safe after a rescue and assist team from USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349) fought and extinguished an engineroom fire aboard commercial fishing vessel Lady Anna two miles south of Honolulu Harbor.

“We were in the right place at the right time,” said Lt. Ryan Ball, commanding officer of USCGC Galveston Island. “This was a combined effort between the Galveston Island crew, the watchstanders at Sector Honolulu and rescue boat crews from Station Honolulu and Honolulu Fire Department. I’m happy that we were able to help and I’m proud of my crew for their quick and effective response in putting out the fire. The reason why we do training is to ensure that in an emergency situation such as this, we can perform safely and effectively.”

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu Command Center overheard a transmission on VHF channel 16 at 4:30 p.m. regarding a fire aboard the 78-foot fishing vessel Lady Anna. Watchstanders established communication with the vessel, directed the launch of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Honolulu and diverted the nearby Galveston Island crew to assist.

Once on scene, the Galveston Island crew reported black smoke billowing from the engineroom. The RB-M crew arrived on scene and safely disembarked the crew from the fishing vessel. The Galveston Island Rescue and Assist Team then boarded the Lady Anna to investigate the smoke. When approaching the engineroom, the team identified flames coming from the generator and utilized a P-6 pump to successfully extinguish the fire.

International crewmembers from the Lady Anna were safely transferred by the RB-M crew to the commercial fishing vessel Sapphire III due to lack of clearance and two U.S. crewmembers were safely transferred to Pier 38. No injuries were reported.

The Lady Anna was towed in to Pier 17 by a water taxi after a marine surveyor deemed the vessel seaworthy and not in danger of taking on water or having a fire re-flash.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu personnel will investigate the cause of the fire in the coming days and address any repairs necessary for the Lady Anna to resume normal operations. Lady Anna is homeported in Honolulu.

Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) Range Named in Honor of Late Hawaii Senator

The Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) Range and Operations Center was officially named in honor of the late Senator from Hawaii, Daniel K. Inouye, during a naming ceremony held at PMRF on the 20th of July.  The former building 105 on PMRF was officially named the “Daniel K. Inouye Range and Operations Center (DIROC)”.

Daniel Inouye Range and Operations Center

Kekaha, HI (July 20, 2016) – U.S. Navy officers and members of the Kauai’s community come together in celebrating the naming of the range and operations center in honor of the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye at Pacific Missile Range Facility on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Omar Powell)

The 33,522 square foot Range Operations Center was erected in 1963 and houses facilities for sustaining operations for the worlds largest instrumented multi-environment training and test range that encompasses 2.1 million square miles of sea, air and space and plays a vital role in ensuring current and future force readiness.

The event which was attended by family, friends and distinguished visitors from the civilian and military communities from all across Hawaii, included the Honorable Mazie Hirono, United States Senator, Mayor County of Kauai, the Honorable Bernard Carvalho, Rear Admiral John V. Fuller, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, wife of the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, Mrs. Irene Inouye, their son and daughter Ken and Jessica Inouye and many more.

(July 20, 2016) - Rear Admiral John Fuller, Navy Region Hawaii, talks with Irene Inouye at a naming ceremony held in honor of her late husband, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, at Pacific Missile Range Facility on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Omar Powell)

(July 20, 2016) – Rear Admiral John Fuller, Navy Region Hawaii, talks with Irene Inouye at a naming ceremony held in honor of her late husband, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, at Pacific Missile Range Facility on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Omar Powell)

The program featured comments from distinguished guests, a traditional Hawaiian christening ceremony and unveiling of the new name and logo.

In his speech to the group, Capt. Bruce W. Hay, Commanding Officer, PMRF commended the senator’s significant actions in removing PMRF from the Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure list and ensuring infrastructure improvement funding was allocated to help make PMRF the worlds premier test and training range and paving the way for a brighter future for the facility.

Hay also explained the significance of each part of the new DIROC logo which was chosen from a number of different design submissions.  The winning logo was designed by Steve Rogers, a former employee of PMRF and depicts four horizontal color bands representing the four operational domains that the Daniel K. Inouye Range and Operations Center (DIROC) is capable of controlling simultaneously: subsurface, surface, air and space.

The colors represent the natural tones of the Hawaiian sea, sky and space.  Each band depicts a submarine, surface ship, airplane and space vehicle/missile representing the participants in each of these domains. A thin line trails each craft representing that the PMRF environment is not static, but dynamic and evokes the tracks displayed on the control screens during operations.  The colors of yellow and black were the Senators favorite colors and the five white stars in the light blue field represent the Medal of Honor the Senator received for his heroism during World War II.

Mrs. Irene Inouye, wife of the late senator welcomed and expressed her gratitude for all in attendance, shared her joy in being back at PMRF and expressed her thanks for having the late senators name be part of the base.

Kekaha, HI (July 20, 2016) - Rear Admiral John Fuller, Navy Region Hawaii, greets Purple Heart recipient John Iwamoto former member of the U.S. Army  442nd battalion at Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s naming ceremony at Pacific Missile Range Facility on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Omar Powell)

Kekaha, HI (July 20, 2016) – Rear Admiral John Fuller, Navy Region Hawaii, greets Purple Heart recipient John Iwamoto former member of the U.S. Army 442nd battalion at Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s naming ceremony at Pacific Missile Range Facility on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Omar Powell)

To officially dedicate the building, Rear Admiral John Fuller, Captain Bruce Hay, Ms. Jennifer Goto-Sabas, Mr. Ken Inouye and Mrs. Irene Inouye drew the strings that unveiled the new signage and a new DIROC logo on the east wall of the building as Ms. Aletha Kaohi recited a Hawaiian christening prayer.  After the unveiling of the new signage, guests joined hands and sang “Hawai’i Aloha” in unison.

The naming ceremony was followed by a tour of the DIROC and a social gathering at Shenanigans All Hands Club on PMRF.

22 New Cases of Hepatitis A – Oahu Outbreak Up to 74 Cases

The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is investigating a cluster of hepatitis A infections on Oahu.  HDOH staff are conducting interviews with the cases in an effort to identify the source of infection.

Department of Health

Identifying the source of infection continues to be a challenge because of the long incubation period of the disease and the difficulty patients have in accurately recalling the foods consumed and locations visited during the period when infection could have taken place.

Healthcare providers have been informed and are asked to notify HDOH immediately if they have a patient they suspect may be infected.

Individuals who are interested in being vaccinated should contact their healthcare providers.

As of July 20, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 22 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 26 have required hospitalization.

All of the cases are residents of Oahu with the exception of two individuals who now live on the islands of Hawaii and Maui, respectively, but were on Oahu during their exposure period.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A
74

Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 7/14/16.

Contacts of Cases

Unvaccinated contacts of cases should talk to their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.

A contact is defined as:

  • All unvaccinated household members
  • All unvaccinated sexual contacts
  • Anyone sharing illicit drugs with a case
  • Anyone sharing food or eating or drinking utensils with a case
  • Anyone consuming ready-to-eat foods prepared by an infectious food handler with diarrhea or poor hygiene

Note: A food handler is any person who directly prepares, serves, or handles food.

Places of Interest

An employee of the following food service business(es) has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. This list does not indicate these businesses are sources of this outbreak; at this time, no infections have been linked to exposure to these businesses. The likelihood that patrons of these businesses will become infected is very low. However, persons who have consumed food or drink products from these businesses during the identified dates of service should contact their healthcare provider for advice and possible preventive care.

Establishment Location Dates of Service
Baskin-Robbins Waikele Center June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3, 2016
Taco Bell Waipio (94-790 Ukee Street) June 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11, 2016

Hepatitis A — Information and Resources

Hepatitis A Infection in Taco Bell Employee

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed a new case of hepatitis A infection in a food service employee. The employee worked at the fast food restaurant, Taco Bell, located in Waipio at 94-790 Ukee Street.

94-790 Ukee Street, Waipio, HI

94-790 Ukee Street, Waipio, HI

The department is advising persons who consumed any food or drink products from this store from June 16 through July 11, 2016 (actual dates: June 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11) that they may have been exposed to the disease.

Unvaccinated individuals should contact their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.

“It is important to note that neither the Waikele Baskin-Robbins nor the Waipio Taco Bell have been identified as the source of infection for this outbreak,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “These are merely places where the victims were employed. The likelihood that patrons of these food establishments will become infected is very low, but to prevent possible additional cases, we are notifying the public so they may seek advice and help from their healthcare providers.”

Additional food service establishments may be affected as the number of cases continues to grow. Individuals, including food service employees, exhibiting symptoms of hepatitis A should stay home and contact their healthcare provider. All food service employees should strictly adhere to good handwashing and food handling practices.

Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes.

While vaccination provides the best protection, frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Appropriately cooking foods can also help prevent infection.

Additional information about hepatitis A can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016/.

For a list of vaccinating pharmacies, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1

Hepatitis A Infection in Oahu Baskin-Robbins Employee – 52 Cases Now Reported

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is investigating a confirmed case of hepatitis A in a food service employee at the ice cream specialty store, Baskin-Robbins, located at the Waikele Center in Waipahu. The department is advising persons who consumed any food or drink products from this store between June 17 and July 3, 2016 (actual dates: June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3) they may have been exposed to the disease.
Baskin Robbins
Unvaccinated individuals should contact their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.

This individual is one in a growing number of ill reported to DOH. Since the outbreak began, there have been 52 cases of hepatitis A reported to and now confirmed by DOH. All cases have been in adults on Oahu, 16 have required hospitalization. The department issued a Medical Advisory to all healthcare providers on June 30 urging them to be vigilant and report all suspected hepatitis A infection immediately.

“The source of this outbreak has still not been determined. In the meantime, we encourage all persons consider and talk to their healthcare provider about getting vaccinated,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “This case demonstrates the potential to spread hepatitis A virus to many others who remain susceptible. In an effort to stem the spread of disease, individuals, including food service employees, exhibiting symptoms of hepatitis A infection should stay home and contact their healthcare provider.”

Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes, and typically last several weeks to as long as two months. Treatment of hepatitis A is supportive, and most people will recover without complications.

While vaccination provides the best protection, frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Appropriately cooking foods can also help prevent infection.

Hepatitis A vaccine is readily available at local pharmacies. Two doses of hepatitis A vaccine, given at least six (6) months apart, are needed for lasting protection. For a list of vaccinating pharmacies, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Additional information about hepatitis A can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/disease/hepatitis-a/.

Diabetic Mariner With Heart Condition Gets Seasick… Rescued

Coast Guard and Navy aircrews conducted a medevac of a 58-year-old mariner from the 45-foot sailing vessel Second Chance 184 miles north of Oahu, Sunday.

The crew of an HC-130 Hercules airplane sights the 45-foot sailing vessel Second Chance as the sun rises and makes radio contact with the six people aboard. The Hercules crew flew cover and managed communications for a Navy SH-60 crew on a medevac of a 58-year-old mariner 184 north of Oahu. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers/Released)

The crew of an HC-130 Hercules airplane sights the 45-foot sailing vessel Second Chance as the sun rises and makes radio contact with the six people aboard. The Hercules crew flew cover and managed communications for a Navy SH-60 crew on a medevac of a 58-year-old mariner 184 north of Oahu. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers/Released)

A Navy SH-60 helicopter crew from Kaneohe Bay hoisted the mariner aboard the helicopter and returned to Kaneohe Bay where he was transferred in stable condition to awaiting emergency medical personnel for further transport to Castle Medical Center.

The crew of an HC-130 Hercules airplane begins their preflight checks. The crew flew cover and managed communications for a Navy SH-60 crew on a medevac of a 58-year-old mariner 184 north of Oahu. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers/Released)

The crew of an HC-130 Hercules airplane begins their preflight checks. The crew flew cover and managed communications for a Navy SH-60 crew on a medevac of a 58-year-old mariner 184 north of Oahu. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers/Released)

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew flew cover for the Navy helicopter and managed communications with the sailing vessel crew for both aircraft and Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders. A Coast Guard hospital corpsman flew with the Navy helicopter crew, administered an IV to the mariner and monitored his condition en route to Oahu.

At 5:55 a.m. Thursday the Coast Guard received a request for a medevac of the mariner who was suffering from extreme seasickness and is diabetic with a heart condition. The vessel departed Ko’olina, Oahu, with six people aboard five days earlier but turned around when the mariner became severely ill.

They were three days from Oahu at the time of their call for assistance. A Coast Guard duty flight surgeon recommended the crew monitor the mariner’s condition and close the distance between them and Coast Guard crews. The Second Chance crew maintained a regular communications schedule with the Coast Guard.

By 4:40 a.m. Saturday the mariner’s previously stable condition was deteriorating. The Coast Guard duty flight surgeon recommended a medevac to bring the mariner to higher level of medical care as soon as possible. The Second Chance was still outside the range of any hoist capable aircraft and there were no vessels in the area. The crew continued to make way toward Oahu.

Watchstanders estimated the vessel would be within range of air assets by first light Sunday and coordinated with the Navy’s HSM-37 Easyrider Squadron to conduct the hoist. The Coast Guard Hercules crew launched prior to sunrise and the helicopter crew shortly after.

The helicopter crew deployed their rescue swimmer and attempted to hoist the mariner from the deck of the Second Chance but 13 mph winds from the east and 7-foot seas made it impossible to do safely. The rescue swimmer was instead able to swim the mariner from the sailing vessel to the awaiting rescue basket a few hundred yards from the Second Chance, clear of the mast and rigging. Once the mariner was safely aboard the crew recovered their rescue swimmer and departed for Kaneohe Bay.

 Petty Officer 3rd Class Connor Mitchell, an aviation maintenance technician, records the hoist of an ill mariner from the 45-foot sailing vessel Second Chance on the CASPER pallet while serving as part of the crew of a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane form Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point. The Hercules crew flew cover and managed communications for a Navy SH-60 crew on a medevac of a 58-year-old mariner 184 north of Oahu. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers/Released)

Petty Officer 3rd Class Connor Mitchell, an aviation maintenance technician, records the hoist of an ill mariner from the 45-foot sailing vessel Second Chance on the CASPER pallet while serving as part of the crew of a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane form Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point. The Hercules crew flew cover and managed communications for a Navy SH-60 crew on a medevac of a 58-year-old mariner 184 north of Oahu. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers/Released)

“This case’s extreme distance and the mariner’s need underscores the importance of having hoist capable helicopters in the main Hawaiian Islands,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Scott, of Coast Guard Joint Rescue and Coordination Center Honolulu. “Our thanks to the Navy for their continued support and partnership in this case, allowing us to get the mariner to vital medical care in the most expedient way possible.”

Stinky Corpse Plant Getting Ready to Bloom on Oahu

Foster Botanical Garden is anticipating that for the fifth time this year a rare Amorphophallus titanum, also known as the “Corpse plant,” could bloom as early as Sunday, July 9, 2016.

Corpse Plant Stinky 2

Plant specialists, who are closely monitoring the bloom, say that the plant normally opens in the afternoon, is in full bloom that night and finishes the bloom two days later. The first 24 hours are the “smelliest,” when the stench of rotten flesh emitted by the flower is most pungent.

The endangered species native to Sumatra, Indonesia is a short-lived flower that only blooms once every two to five years. It is the largest unbranched inflorescence in the plant kingdom. Contributing to this plant’s exotic allure is the bloom’s strong stench, which serves to attract the carrion beetles that pollinate the flower.

In cultivation, the Amorphophallus titanum generally requires seven to 10 years of vegetative growth before blooming for the first time.

This particular plant was donated by local resident John Kawamoto and will be blooming for the second time after eight years of growth from seed.

The plants are at Foster Botanical Garden’s Orchid Conservatory, which is home to 10 mature specimens of the Corpse plant.

Contributing to this impressive public collection are other plant displays in the conservatory:

  • Leopard Orchids
  • Spider Orchids
  • Blood Lilies

Foster Botanical Garden is located at 50 North Vineyard Boulevard, and is the oldest of the city’s botanical gardens. The garden displays a mature and impressive collection of tropical plants. Some of the magnificent trees in this 14-acre garden were planted in the 1850s by Dr. William Hillebrand. The garden also includes a palm collection, the Lyon Orchid Garden, hybrid orchid display, the Prehistoric Glen, and a gift shop.

Cost for admission at Foster Garden is: $5.00 – general, 13 years and older; $3.00 – Hawai‘i resident 13 years and older with ID, $1.00 – Child 6 to 12 years old; free – Child 5 years old and under (must be with adult). Call 522-7066 for information.

Foster Botanical Garden is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily except for Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Please “Like” Foster Botanical Garden or Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Facebook (facebook.com/MayorKirk) or follow Mayor Caldwell on Twitter (@MayorKirkHNL), or call the Foster Botanical Garden Information Line at (808)768-7125, to find out when the Amorphophallus titanum blooms.

Hepatitis Outbreak on Oahu Continues

Additional cases of hepatitis A infection have been reported to the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH), increasing the number of confirmed cases to 31.  DOH staff worked through the holiday weekend to conduct interviews with the newly identified cases in an effort to identify the cause of infection.

Hepatitis A Facts“Identifying the source of infection is a challenge,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “Hepatitis A has a long incubation period lasting anywhere from two weeks to as long as 50 days.

Accurately recalling all of the foods consumed and locations visited during the period when infection could have taken place is challenging for many, especially those who are still feeling ill.” Patients infected with hepatitis A virus are most contagious during the week before the symptoms start until at least one week after the start of  the first symptoms.

“Since people are contagious before they feel ill, we are very concerned about the disease unknowingly being spreading to others,”said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler.

The virus is found in the stool of people with hepatitis A infection and is usually spread by eating contaminated food or drinking water, and can be spread through close personal or sexual contact. A person who has hepatitis A can easily pass the disease to others within the same household.

For this reason, DOH investigators are currently reaching out to individuals who were in contact with those who have or had hepatitis A. Hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin (a substance made from human blood plasma that contains antibodies to protect the body against diseases) administered within the first two weeks after exposure may provide some protection against the disease.

Unvaccinated individuals recently exposed to the disease are encouraged to talk to their healthcare providers about these preventive measures.

DOH continues to encourage the public to review their immunization record and talk to their healthcare provider about vaccination.

For a list of vaccinating pharmacies, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

While vaccination provides the best protection, frequent hand washing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing food can help prevent the spread of Hepatitis A. Appropriately cooking and preparing foods can also help prevent infection.

Additional information about hepatitis A can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/disease/hepatitis-a/.

Update – Coast Guard Rescues 3 Boaters, Search Continues for 3 Missing Fishermen Off Oahu

The Coast Guard rescued three boaters attempting to assist in the search and rescue case for three missing fishermen off of the North Shore of Oahu, Monday.

The Coast Guard and the Navy are searching for three missing fishermen reported overdue north northwest of Oahu, July 4, 2016. Their 20-foot fishing vessel Iwa, was spotted overturned by the Coast Guard approximately 25 miles off of Haleiwa Boat Harbor. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

The Coast Guard and the Navy are searching for three missing fishermen reported overdue north northwest of Oahu, July 4, 2016. Their 20-foot fishing vessel Iwa, was spotted overturned by the Coast Guard approximately 25 miles off of Haleiwa Boat Harbor. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point hoisted three men aboard and safely transported them to Haleiwa Boat Harbor. A fourth man was able to swim to shore.

One of the four men is being treated by local emergency medical services personnel for hypothermia. No other injuries were reported.

The boater’s 30-foot recreation vessel reportedly capsized and sank while they attempted to tow the 20-foot Iwa, a capsized and adrift vessel from an earlier search and rescue case.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center received a relayed call at 8:35 p.m., from dispatchers at the Honolulu Fire Department reporting they received a mayday call stating the boaters were sinking and abandoning ship. The mayday call was abruptly cut off after the notification.

Shortly after, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center received an emergency position indicating radio beacon alert in the vicinity of the North Shore, correlating with the mayday report. Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu diverted Coast Guard assets from the search for the fishermen to rescue the boaters.

Coast Guard crews are continuing the search through the night for the three missing fishermen originally reported overdue aboard the Iwa northwest of Oahu, early Monday.

Missing are Jensen Loo, Clint Oshima and Derek Tomas. All three men are 30-years-old. The Iwa was spotted overturned by the Coast Guard approximately 25 miles off of Haleiwa Boat Harbor during Monday’s search.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew, both from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, are currently searching as well as the crew of the USCGC Kiska (WPB-1336).

An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast has been issued alerting mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report any sightings to the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center.

Anyone with information that may help locate the three fishermen is asked to contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

No One Arrested (So Far) at Waikiki Floatopia

Officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) patrolled on land and in the ocean on this Independence Day holiday to keep ocean users safe during what’s become known as the Waikiki flotilla or Floatopia.

As of late afternoon only one person had been cited and no one had been arrested or injured as DOCARE officers focused on safety for the estimated 1000 people on boats, stand-up paddle boards, inflatable rafts, mattresses, and an infinite variety of floating toys.

Waikiki Floatilla

DOCARE officers escorted a boat full of young people back to the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor, after they were spotted drinking on a boat without a current registration and required safety gear like personal flotation devices (PFDs).  The operator of the boat was cited for three different violations and the boat was impounded. Her passengers were issued warnings and if they were underage their parents or legal guardians were called to pick them up.

Officers from the Honolulu Police Department provided assistance. Guy Chang, the DOCARE Oahu Branch Chief observed, “This boat was an accident waiting to happen. You mix alcohol, with boating, sun exposure and the lack of safe operations and equipment and it’s probably only a matter of time before someone would have gotten hurt.”  With hundreds of boats and thousands of people in the water off Waikiki, Chang and his officers emphasized safety with everyone they encountered today.

In conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard, DOCARE officers ordered an overloaded catamaran, operating in the flotilla, to return to its slip at Kewalo Basin. Officers say the vessel was riding low in the water and they estimated at least 50 people were on its deck at one time.  Additionally the boat didn’t have PFDs for every individual on board.  It’s believed the boat is a commercial vessel and its captain has a commercial license, so DOCARE officers plan to follow-up and possibly issue citations related to the overcrowding and lack of PFDs.

At least two young people on floating rings that deflated had to be taken back to Waikiki Beach. They told officers they were unable to swim the 500-1000 yards back to the beach, so a DOCARE jet ski hauled them back to safety.

It remains to be seen what kind of mess participants in the flotilla might leave behind.  Volunteers from the non-profit, Sustainable Coastlines, operating off a boat on the edge of the flotilla were picking up rubbish from the ocean and encouraging participants to clean up after themselves.

Coast Guard Identifies Three Missing Fishermen

The Coast Guard and the Navy are searching for three missing fishermen reported overdue north northwest of Oahu, Monday.

Coast Guard LogoMissing is 30-year-old Jensen Loo, 30-year-old Clint Oshima and 30-year-old Derek Tomas.

Their 20-foot fishing vessel Iwa, was spotted overturned by the Coast Guard approximately 25 miles off of Haleiwa Boat Harbor.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and an HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point are currently searching as well as the USCGC Kiska (WPB-1336). A Navy P-3 Orion from Marine Corps Base Hawaii and members of the Honolulu Fire Department are also assisting in the search.

An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast has been issued alerting mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report any sightings to the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center.

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu received a call at 8:21 p.m., Sunday from a friend of the three fishermen stating they had gone out to fish at 5:45 a.m., in their 20-foot fishing vessel and had not returned that evening by their designated time.

Anyone with information that may help locate the three fishermen is asked to contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

Weather conditions are currently reported as 15 to 25 mph winds with waves at 8 feet and unlimited visibility.

Hepatitis Outbreak on Oahu

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) is investigating a cluster of at least 12 cases of hepatitis A infection in adults on Oahu; six have required hospitalization. Onsets of illness have ranged from June 16 through June 27, 2016.

Click to see where to get vaccinations.

Click to see where to get vaccinations.

Hepatitis A is a virus that can cause fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes. Symptoms typically last several weeks to as long as two months. Hepatitis A virus is found in the stool of infected persons and is usually spread by eating contaminated food or drinking water, but can also be spread through close personal/sexual contact. Persons should seek medical attention immediately should they develop symptoms.

“Hepatitis A infection is a vaccine-preventable disease, and fortunately, most children and adolescents have been vaccinated as part of routine childhood vaccination recommendations,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “However, many adults have not been vaccinated and remain susceptible.”

State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park added, “Healthcare providers have been informed and asked to notify us immediately if they have a patient they suspect may be infected. Treatment for hepatitis A infection is supportive only, and while most people will recover without complications, we are encouraging everyone to review their immunization record and talk to their healthcare provider about vaccination.”

Hepatitis A vaccine is readily available at local pharmacies. Two doses of hepatitis A vaccine, given at least six (6) months apart, are needed for lasting protection. For a list of vaccinating pharmacies, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

While vaccination provides the best protection, frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Appropriately cooking foods can also help prevent infection.

Additional information about hepatitis A can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/disease/hepatitis-a/.

Hawaii Belly Dance Convention to Showcase Middle Eastern Dance

Now in its 12th year, the 2016 Hawai‘i Belly Dance Convention will bring performers and teachers from near and far to Honolulu to share the beauty and drama of Middle Eastern dance October 13-17.

Belly Dancing

“We’re so excited to announce the twelfth annual Hawai‘i Belly Dance Convention. This year our amazing instructors will be taking a deeper dive into the history and culture of belly dance,” said convention founder Malia Delapenia. “We hope you’ll join us this October with some of the best belly dancers in the world sharing their knowledge and passion with dancers and dance lovers alike.”

This year’s featured visiting performers and instructors include tribal fusion belly dance pioneer Mira Betz, belly dance superstar and instructor Petite Jamilla, and pioneering male fusionist Frank Farinaro.

In a new event for this year’s convention, enjoy Cultural Seminars followed by the Reflection performance review on Thursday, October 13 at the Honolulu Museum of Arts. Cultural seminars begin at 5 p.m. Following the seminars is an intimate session of performances and commentary, an opportunity for professional feedback from HBDC’s visiting instructors. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., dancers can participate in a question and answer session and get feedback on their own performances. The evening is open to the public. General admission is $15, with discounted admission for museum members and military.

On Friday, October 14, join us for the crowd favorite Shimmy Showcase Gala at the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre (900 S. Beretania Street). The Shimmy Showcase is an opportunity for convention participants to see their teachers in action, and for everyone to appreciate the enchanting art of Middle Eastern dance. The two shows will be preceded by a no-host reception with special preview performances. “Essence” the 6:30 p.m. show, will be a family-friendly show that traces the once traditional movements of belly dance to its contemporary existence. “The Reveal” will continue the modern exploration with more edgy, sensual, fusion performances for an audience 18 years and older at 9:30 p.m. Doors open an hour and a half before each show. General tickets for each show begin at $30 with VIP available and discounted admission for museum members, military, or for those enjoying both shows.

The Shimmy with Aloha Workshops, now in their ninth year, will be held at the Neal Blaisdell Center on Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16. Workshop teachers bring decades of experience to each workshop, and offerings will be available for belly dancers at all levels of experience.

Individual workshops are $30-$75, or day passes to all workshops are available from $200-265. A free Beginners of Belly Dance class will be taught on Sunday from 12:30-1:15 p.m. by Turkish belly dance artist Jin from Japan. All ages and levels of experience are welcome and encouraged to share in the love of the art.

Just outside the Shimmy with Aloha Workshops at the Neal Blaisdell Center, a marketplace will be set up with belly dance costumes, dance wear, and other Middle Eastern artisans from around the world. Many of these products are not available locally most of the year. The Middle Eastern Marketplace will be open to the public from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Following the Sunday workshops, the hotly anticipated official HBDC VIP After Party will be held at an exciting location to be announced soon.  The final day of this year’s HBDC, Monday, October 17 will begin with a day of outdoor adventures with friends old and new.

Attendees can save over $100 and gain admission to all HBDC events with the Ku‘uipo Package. The $480 pass includes VIP access to the Cultural Seminars & Reflection, Shimmy Showcase Gala, Shimmy with Aloha Workshops, and the HBDC VIP After Party. This package, which saves $120 over purchasing individual events, is only available until August 31.

For more information, to purchase tickets for the Shimmy Showcase, or to register for workshops or other convention events, visit HawaiiBellyDanceConvention.com or call (808) 234-1006.

USS Chung-Hoon to Return From Deployment

The guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) is scheduled to return from a five-month deployment to the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) June 28.

Chun hoon Bridge

While on deployment, the ship and crew of more than 300 Sailors conducted various theater security operations and goodwill activities with partner nations.

“The Sailors and officers of Chung-Hoon performed exceptionally while deployed to the Western Pacific,” said Cmdr. Tom Ogden, commanding officer. “During exercises and operations with our allies and partners in the Asia Pacific, we flew helicopters and sailed the ship in accordance with international laws and were able to show strong, persistent presence in the region.”

Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37 Detachment 7, homeported at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, embarked aboard Chung-Hoon during the deployment. They flew 245 sorties, totaling more than 680 hours with two MH-60R aircraft in support of multi-national exercises and presence operations in the Indo-Asia Pacific.
chun hoon front
“The relationship with Chung-Hoon was outstanding from day one,” said Lt. Cmdr. Justin Eckhoff, HSM-37, Detachment 7 air boss. “The crew was professional and very welcoming, allowing us to form a great team.”

According to Eckhoff, the camaraderie he experienced during the evolution was not only remarkable, but valuable and directly impacted mission success.

“As a detachment, we adopted the nickname ‘Paniolo,’ a word for the cowboys of the Hawaiian Islands. The original Paniolo were hard working, resourceful, and shared a strong tie of brotherhood. Those same traits were evident every day from the maintainers, aircrew, and pilots of HSM 37, Detachment 7. Thanks to their efforts, we operated the world’s most advanced helicopters night after night, safely, and effectively.”

During the deployment, Chung-Hoon made port visits to Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and the Philippines, and participated in numerous community service projects including volunteering at local elementary schools, orphanages, and soup kitchens.

In February, Chung-Hoon participated in Foal Eagle, an annual bilateral training exercise designed to enhance the readiness of United States and Republic of Korea forces and their ability to work together during a crisis.
Me at helm of chung hoon
In June, Chung-Hoon participated in Malabar, a trilateral naval exercise with Japan and India to increase bilateral nation inoperability. During Malabar, Chung-Hoon received fuel from the Indian oiler INS Shakti further showcasing the  ability of the nations to operate together.

Chung-Hoon also participated in a group sail across the Pacific Ocean with Indian, Singaporean, Indonesian, and Japanese navies in preparation for the 2016 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

Twenty-six nations, 45 ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the RIMPAC exercise scheduled June 30 through August 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

Chung-Hoon is assigned to Carrier Strike Group 3 and Destroyer Squadron 21 and is homeported in Hawaii as part of U.S. 3rd Fleet. It is also part of the Great Green Fleet, an initiative that highlights the Navy’s efforts to transform its energy use to increase operational capability.

Chung-Hoon was commissioned Sep. 18, 2004 and was named after Rear Admiral Gordon Pai’ea Chung-Hoon, who served during World War II and was the first Asian-American flag officer. He is a recipient of the Navy Cross and Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of USS Sigsbee from May 1944 to October 1945.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.

For more information please visit the ship’s website:
http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/ddg93/Pages/default.aspx

Editors note: To see my trip out to sea with the USS Chung Hoon click here:  Out to Sea on the Destroyer USS CHUNG HOON

EPA Enforces Ban on U.S. Army’s Cesspools on Oahu and Big Island – Army Fined $100,000

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement with the U.S. Army to close four illegal large capacity cesspools on Oahu and eight on the Big Island. The Army will pay a $100,000 fine, the first time EPA has imposed a civil penalty against a federal government facility for operating banned cesspools.

Click to read

Click to read

“The convening of the International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu this week serves as a reminder of why EPA is focused on shutting down all large capacity cesspools,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Our goal is to protect Hawaii’s coastal waters.”

EPA found that the Army continued to use the cesspools despite a 2005 ban under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act’s Underground Injection Control program. The Army had failed to close three large capacity cesspools at Wheeler Army Airfield and one at Schofield Barracks on Oahu, as well as eight on the Big Island at the Pohakuloa Training area and the Kilauea Military Camp.

As a result of EPA’s enforcement action, the Army has closed one cesspool, and replaced two others at Wheeler Army Airfield and another at Schofield Barracks with approved wastewater treatment systems. Under the settlement agreement, the Army must also close or replace all eight of the large capacity cesspools still in use on the Big Island.

Cesspools collect and discharge untreated raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens and harmful chemicals can contaminate groundwater, streams and the ocean. They are used more widely in Hawaii than any other state. Throughout Hawaii, over 3,000 large capacity cesspools have been closed since the 2005 ban, many through voluntary compliance. The EPA regulations do not apply to single-family homes connected to their own individual cesspools.

For more information on the case, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/region9/enforcement/pubnotices/pubnotice-us-army.html

For more information on the large capacity cesspool ban, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/uic/cesspools-hawaii

Hawaii Public Invited to Tour Coast Guard Icebreaker on Saturday

USCGC Healy (WAGB-20) arrived in Honolulu, Wednesday, for a port visit before continuing on a four-month Arctic deployment.

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charly Hengen.

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charly Hengen.

This port call is Healy’s first stop in Hawaii since 2011.

The Healy will be open to the public for tours Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., at Pier 11. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Pets are not allowed aboard the cutter. Coast Guard crewmembers will be standing by to answer questions about Healy and upcoming operations.

This summer, the Healy crew will provide presence and access to conduct three major missions focusing on the biology, chemistry, geology, and physics of the Arctic Ocean and its ecosystems, as well as performing multi-beam sonar mapping of the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS).

For the first mission, the Healy crew will work with 46 researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and University of Alaska-Anchorage. The mission will employ the Global Explorer remotely operated vehicle, net trawls, bottom cores and conductivity, temperature, and depth casts to assess the biological diversity of the Chukchi Sea. The team of scientists will use cutting edge technology to identify and document the species living in this poorly understood and rapidly changing region.

Performing their second mission, the Healy crew will deploy an array of acoustic bottom moorings in support of researchers from Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the Office of Naval Research. The moorings will collect data on how climate change and decreased ice coverage is affecting the Arctic Ocean.

The final mission is in support of the State Department and the White House Office of Science and Technology. Researchers from the University of New Hampshire will use multi-beam sonar mapping and bottom dredging in the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean to further support the demarcation of the ECS.  This work will directly support the United States’ claim for natural resources found on or beneath the ocean floor.

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charly Hengen.

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charly Hengen.

The Healy is the nation’s premiere high latitude research vessel. The cutter is a 420 foot long icebreaker with extensive scientific capabilities. Based out of Seattle, the cutter has a permanent crew of 87. Its primary mission is scientific support. In addition, as a Coast Guard Cutter, Healy is capable of other operations such as search and rescue, ship escort, environmental protection, and the enforcement of laws and treaties in the Polar Regions.

Navy Disposes of Projectile at Makua Beach

At approximately 2:00 p.m. FRIDAY, June 3, 2016, the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel responded to a request from the Honolulu Police Department Bomb Squad with regard to a projectile located in 5′ of water approximately 20 yards off shore at Makua Beach in Waianae.

NAVY EOD

EOD personnel confirmed the object was a piece of ordnance and following standard procedure and observing safety precautions, proceeded to destroy the object in place.  HPD was on scene for public safety.

The projectile appears to have been in the water for a very long time as indicated by vegetation growth so specific identification of its origin would have been difficult.  The evolution was concluded successfully at 5:00 p.m. that day without incident.

Honor the Dads in Your Life at the 18th Annual Celebrate Father’s Day Event

The Hawai‘i Coalition for Dads and the State Commission on Fatherhood will celebrate the important role fathers play in their children’s everyday lives on Saturday, June 18 at Windward Mall.  The two organizations invite all Hawai‘i fathers and their families to join them at the 18th Annual Celebrate Father’s Day event.

fathers day 2016

Families who attend this free event will enjoy a Father-Child Look-Alike Contest, live entertainment featuring “Cousin Flippa” from Hawaii Five-0, and family-friendly activities. Contestants in the Father-Child Look-Alike Contest – a highlight every year – will vie for prizes like a Nintendo WiiU, Weber tabletop Grill, and gift cards from Local Motion, Sports Authority and local movie theaters.

An increasing body of evidence indicates that children are more likely to thrive with the support, guidance, and nurturing of both parents. Yet, many children across the country are growing up without fathers.  As a result, they may lack appropriate male role models and face greater risks of health, emotional, educational, and behavioral problems during their developmental years. The National Fatherhood Initiative reports that children and families function much better with an active, involved, and responsible father in their lives.

Father-Child Look-a-Like Contest entry forms and rules are available at the Fatherhood Commission’s website. Get more information about the Hawai‘i Coalition for Dads and the State Commission on Fatherhood at the Commission’s website.

Board of Land and Natural Resources to Consider Ala Wai Canal

A proposal to close the Ala Wai Canal from the Ala Moana Boulevard Bridge to the Kalakaua Avenue Bridge during the IUCN World Conservation Congress, Sept. 1-10, 2016, will be considered at a meeting of the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) on June 9, 2016.

ala wai canal in front of convention center

Numerous law enforcement agencies, led by the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) have requested the closure as an imperative safety measure to ensure the safety of the public and an expected 8,000-10,000 attendees of the conference.

DOCARE Enforcement Chief Thomas Friel explained, “This event will generate worldwide media attention and numerous Heads of State, Ministerial and Cabinet Level officials and other dignitaries are expected to attend.”

According to the submittal, the closure is necessary for the following reasons:

  • To maintain an area that provides for standoff distance where any safety and security threat in the vicinity of the canal near the Hawaii Convention Center can be detected and dealt with away from the Convention Center.
  • To maintain surveillance and control of the Ala Moana and Kalakaua Avenue bridges, the bridges closest to the Hawaii Convention Center.  The bridges provide crucial transportation routes that the public and attendees will use to access the convention center and area hotels.

DOCARE, working with State Harbor Police, will be responsible for the physical closure of the canal and will use vessels and floating booms to accomplish the task.  DOCARE Officers will monitor the area during the proposed closure.

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “While we appreciate this will be a temporary inconvenience for canal users like canoe clubs, we hope everyone understands it is important to do everything possible to make sure, when the world’s conservation leaders are focusing on Hawaii, they do so under the umbrella of the utmost safety and security.”

BLNR meetings are typically on Friday’s, but the June 9th meeting is on a Thursday, since June 10th is King Kamehameha Day.  Public testimony will be heard during the board’s consideration of the Ala Wai closure proposal.

Waikiki Beach Clean-Up and Scavenger Hunt

Join Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and Partners as they aim to cleanup Waikiki on Saturday, June 25th beginning at 9:00 AM.

Waikiki Beach Clean Up

The epicenter of our tourism economy and home to the states busiest beaches, Waikiki is visited by thousands daily. Although a beach sweeper comes through to clean the beaches, much is still missed and we plan to help out by bringing a small army of people as we sweep across Waikiki along with a team at Ala Wai Harbor to clean.

Plan is to meet at Kapiolani Park where we will check in starting at 9AM and visit the educational booths. Buses will begin departing at 9:30AM to multiple locations with pick up locations for the tired or time short volunteers. The most beastly of beastly volunteers will walk the duration of Waikiki.

Currently in the planning stages, more will be added to this event. Please save the date for Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii’s Waikiki Summer Cleanup Festival.