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Coast Guard Searching for Helicopter Near Molokai

The Coast Guard is searching for an overdue helicopter with two persons aboard near the south side of Molokai, Wednesday.

A Coast Guard C130

A Coast Guard HC130

Multiple Coast Guard air and surface crews and a Maui Fire Department aircrew are currently searching in the area.

Crews currently engaged in the search are:

  • HC-130 Hercules airplane and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point.
  • Crews of USCGC Kittiwake (WPB-87316) homeported in Honolulu, was diverted from operations off Maui.
  • Air1 helicopter crew from Maui Fire Department.

The helicopter was reported overdue by the owner’s employee at 6:55 a.m. Wednesday. The employee called 911 and dispatch notified the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center personnel who in turn relayed the call to the watchstanders at Coast Guard Joint Rescue Communications Center in Honolulu. The black, privately owned helicopter reportedly departed Honolulu Tuesday evening with two people aboard and did not arrive to a private helicopter pad on Molokai as expected.

An urgent marine information broadcast requesting assistance from mariners in the southern Molokai area has been issued.

Anyone with information that may help locate the helicopter or crew is asked to contact the Sector Honolulu command center at 808-842-2600.

Weather conditions are currently reported as 21 to 23 mph winds, partly sunny with showers.

Notice of Last Date of Molokai Ferry Service and How to Obtain Refunds

On October 17, 2016, the Public Utilities Commission of the State of Hawaiʻi (“PUC”), in Order No. 33977 in Docket No. 2016-0214, approved Sea Link of Hawaii, Inc.’s (“Sea Link”) request to voluntarily surrender its certificate of public convenience and necessity (“CPCN”) to provide water carrier services between Maui and Molokaʻi (“Maui-Molokai Ferry”).

molokai-ferryThe PUC found “good cause” to approve, subject to certain conditions, Sea Link’s request to voluntarily surrender its CPCN, in part, because the Commission acknowledged Sea Link’s representation that its financial losses are no longer sustainable and the Commission cannot compel (i.e. force) Sea Link to continue to operate as a water carrier of passengers and property at a financial loss.  As a result, the last date of ferry service operations will be Thursday, October 27, 2016.

SEA LINK WILL REMAIN AVAILABLE TO PROCESS REFUNDS UNTIL FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2016

Refund instructions for unused fares:

Unused Paper Tickets and Coupon Books

  • Refund Forms will be made available on Sea Link’s website, molokaiferry.com, and at Sea Link’s main office by mail by phone at (808) 661-3392, by email to info@molokaiferry.com, or by postal mail, 1036 Limahana Place, 3E, Lahaina, HI 96761.
  • By December 16, 2016, completed Refund Forms may be mailed, along with unused paper tickets or coupons, to Sea Link of Hawaii, Inc., 1036 Limahana Place, 3E, Lahaina, HI 96761. Unused paper tickets or coupons must be stapled to or enclosed with the form.
  • Until October 27, 2016, Refund Forms will also be available in person at:
    • Sea Link’s ticket sales/terminal at Lahaina Harbor from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday;
    • Sea Link’s ticket sales/terminal at Kaunakakai Harbor from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; and
    • Sea Link’s Main Office, located at 1036 Limahana Place, 3E, Lahaina, HI 96761, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Unused Electronic Tickets

  • By December 16, 2016, Sea Link will attempt to notify Electronic Ticket holders using the contact information provided at the time of sale of the last date of ferry service and options for refunds via phone and/or email. Electronic Ticket holders may contact Sea Link’s office by phone, 808.661.3392, or by email, info@molokaiferry.com.  Please provide full name and/or confirmation number to expedite refund.

Unused Prepaid Bulk or Group Tickets

  • By December 16, 2016, Sea Link will attempt to notify Prepaid Bulk or Group Ticket holders using the contact information provided at the time of sale of the last date of ferry service and options for refunds via phone and/or email. Prepaid Bulk or Group Ticket holders may contact Sea Link’s office by phone, 808.661.3392, or by email, info@molokaiferry.com.

THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT REFUND REQUESTS IS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2016

PUC CONTACT INFORMATION

Comments addressed to the PUC may be mailed to 465 South King Street, Room 103, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96813, or sent by electronic mail to Hawaii.PUC@hawaii.gov.

Coast Guard Rescues Missing Divers Off Molokai

The Coast Guard has rescued three missing divers near Penguin Bank, Molokai, Monday.

Coast Guard Ahi

“The Coast Guard advises all divers to have a dive buoy, signaling device, and reflective equipment,” said Lt. Kevin Edes, command center chief at Sector Honolulu. “This is an outstanding case where effective planning and diligent search efforts brought three people home safe to their families”

The divers were located at 4 p.m. six miles from their original location by a Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu. They brought the divers aboard, confirmed they had no injuries and delivered them to their original vessel. The RB-M crew escorted the recreational vessel safely to Hawaii Kai.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point were also involved in the search. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Ahi was diverted to assist with the search. They have resumed their original search for the Marine aviators off the North Shore. The Hercules airplane has joined them.

Watchstanders at the Sector Honolulu command center received a call at 11:20 a.m., from the operator of a 20-foot cuddy cabin vessel stating he was diving with three friends in the vicinity of Penguin Bank when their vessel began to drift away. The three missing divers waited on the surface of the water while the operator recovered the vessel.

After recovering the vessel and returning to their previous location, he could not locate his companions prompting him to search for them and then call the Coast Guard.

Weather conditions were reported as northeast winds at 10 mph with seas up to 3 feet and 10 miles of visibility.

Coast Guard Searching for 3 Missing Divers Off Molokai After Vessel Goes Adrift

The Coast Guard is searching for three missing divers near Penguin Bank, Molokai, Monday.

The missing divers are a 40-year-old man, 30-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy. They were last seen at 10 a.m., wearing full body camouflage wetsuits and are reportedly excellent swimmers.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Ahi was diverted to assist with the search.

Coast Guard Ahi

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

Watchstanders at the Sector Honolulu command center received a call at 11:20 a.m., from the operator of a 20-foot cuddy cabin vessel stating he was diving with three friends in the vicinity of Penguin Bank when their vessel began to drift away.

The three missing divers waited on the surface while the operator attempted to recover the vessel. After recovering the vessel and returning to their previous location, he could not locate his companions.

Weather conditions are currently reported as northeast winds at 10 mph with seas up to 3 feet and 10 miles of visibility.

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

Coast Guard Seeking Public’s Help Locating Owner of Adrift Kayak

The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help in identifying the owner of an adrift kayak located approximately 12 miles southwest of La’au Point, Molokai, Sunday.

Submerged Kayak

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received notification from a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew of an adrift, partially submerged 12-foot blue kayak.

There are no missing persons or distress reports in the area.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Maui and an Auxiliary aircraft searched approximately 170 square miles for three hours.

Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.

The Coast Guard advises the public to register and label all watercraft and equipment with contact information in order to quickly account for owners and prevent any unnecessary searches.

Through the Operation Paddle Smart program, the Coast Guard offers a free “If Found” decal to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft. The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

DLNR to Acquire and Permanently Protect Molokai Freshwater Pond

As part of the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources will acquire and permanently protect a 66-acre freshwater pond on Moloka’i, including the island’s largest freshwater pond.

Hawaiian Coot

Hawaiian Coot

The pond provides habitat for the endangered Hawaiian coot and the Hawaiian stilt, but faces an imminent threat from sedimentation and invasive plants that degrade, fill and eliminate wetland habitat.

Hawaiian Stilt

Hawaiian Stilt

Restoration will include the removal of invasive plants encroaching on the pond and removal of a large accumulation of sediment that has displaced a portion of the pond.

This project is a crucial part of a larger plan to protect the Pua’ahala watershed as a new state wildlife sanctuary extending from the mountains to the coral reefs.

molokai grant

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced over $21 million will be provided to 25 projects in 13 coastal and Great Lakes states to protect, restore or enhance more than 11,000 acres of coastal wetlands and adjacent upland habitats under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program.

State and local governments, private landowners, conservation groups and other partners will contribute over $35 million in additional funds to these projects, which include acquiring, restoring or enhancing coastal wetlands and adjacent uplands to provide long-term conservation benefits to fish and wildlife and their habitats.

The program, funded through taxes paid on equipment and fuel purchases by recreational anglers and boaters, creates significant benefits for other recreationists and the American public. The billions of dollars generated through recreational angling, boating, waterfowl hunting and bird watching benefit communities in the vicinity of wetlands restoration projects.

Click here for the complete list of projects funded by the 2015 grant program.

The Service awards grants of up to $1 million to states based on a national competition, which enables states to determine and address their highest conservation priorities in coastal areas. Since 1992, the Service has awarded over $357 million in grants under the program.

Conservation of coastal wetlands ecosystems will not only benefits coastal wetland-dependent wildlife, but will also enhance flood protection and water quality, and provide economic and recreational benefits to anglers, boaters, hunters and wildlife watchers.

DLNR Arrests Four Men For Molokai Ocean Incident

Four Molokai men will face arraignment and hearings in Maui Circuit Court later this month after being arrested and charged for their roles in a confrontation between two groups of fishermen in Molokai waters.
DLNR
The investigation was conducted by Maui Police Department with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE).   

On November 25, 2014 Albert K. Dudoit, Jr., age 27, Robin W. Dudoit, age 57, Floyd Kumukoa Kapuna, age 31 and Kaiula K. English, age 28 were arrested by Maui Police Department and DOCARE officers, and charged with two counts of robbery in the second degree, unauthorized first degree entry into a motor vessel, terroristic threatening in the first degree, and harassment. All of the men were released after posting $50,000 bail each. The Grand Jury returned indictments on the four men stemming from an incident which occurred in Molokai waters in May 2014 in which the men are accused of illegally boarding a vessel in state waters

The vessel used by the four men was seized as evidence and transported to Maui with the assistance of a U.S. Coast Guard C-130 aircraft.  

“We are willing to work with any community that wants to forge a proactive partnership with DLNR to ensure public safety, access, and lawful behavior concerning the natural resources of Hawaii,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson. “We will not tolerate community involvement in unlawful criminal behavior.”

“DOCARE officers have worked very hard to make this case because when there are people willing to come forward and there is sufficient evidence to show a criminal action is being perpetrated on citizens, we will take action,” said Randy K. Awo, recently retired DOCARE Chief. 

The Department of Land and Natural Resources wishes to thank the Maui Prosecutor’s Office, Maui Police Department and US Coast Guard for their assistance with this case.  

Department of Health Reaches Settlement With Central Maui Landfill and Molokai Solid Waste Facility

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) and the County of Maui Department of Environmental Management have reached a settlement on two enforcement cases concerning solid waste violations at the Central Maui Municipal Solid Waste Landfill and the Molokai Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility.

Department of Health

The combined settlement involves a cash penalty payment of $70,000 and a supplemental environmental project that is valued at not less than $70,000.

The proposed supplemental project is a household hazardous waste collection program for the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai to be conduct ed during fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015). The County of Maui, the remaining county that currently lacks such a program, plans to continue the project beyond the inaugural year.

DOH cited the Central Maui Municipal Solid Waste Landfill with three counts of permit violations from January to April 2011 for failure to maintain leachate compliance levels in the leachate wet well and sump, and failure to monitor and record leachate levels after a storm event. The DOH initially imposed an administrative penalty of $121,900 prior to the settlement. The facility is located off Pulehu Road in Puunene.

DOH cited the Molokai Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility with a two-count violation in April 2011 for failing to minimize liter generation and failure to place daily cover at the facility. An administrative penalty of $20,955 was initially imposed prior to the settlement. The facility is located off Maunaloa Highway in Naiwa.

The County of Maui has completed all corrective actions stemming from the alleged violations.

Anyone Lose a Dinghy?

The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s assistance after receiving a report of an unmanned adrift, black and grey inflatable dinghy offshore approximately two and a half miles west of Kaanapali, Maui, Monday.

The Coast Guard is seeking the public's assistance after receiving a report of an unmanned adrift black and grey inflatable dinghy offshore approximately two and a half miles west of Kaanapali, Maui, March 10, 2014

The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s assistance after receiving a report of an unmanned adrift black and grey inflatable dinghy offshore approximately two and a half miles west of Kaanapali, Maui, March 10, 2014

The passenger ferry Molokai Princess reported the dinghy adrift at approximately 7:45 a.m., and took it in tow back to Kaunakakai Harbor, Molokai. The dinghy is approximately 10 feet long with a 6 horsepower outboard engine. There are no markings on the vessel, the oars and equipment in the dinghy appear to be stowed and it appeared to have broken free from another vessel.

No one has been reported missing or in distress in the area.

The Coast Guard advises the public to register and label all watercraft and equipment with contact information in order to quickly account for owners and prevent any unnecessary searches.

Through the Operation Paddle Smart program, the Coast Guard offers a free “If Found” decal to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft.  The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the dinghy is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.

Senator J. Kalani English’s Statement on Fatal Lanai Plane Crash

Senator J. Kalani English (District 7- Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, Kaho‘olawe), Chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs, today issued the following statement after learning of the fatal plane crash near Lāna‘i Airport:

Sen. J. Kalani English

Sen. J. Kalani English

“It is with great sadness that I extend my most heartfelt condolences to the friends and families of those who passed in last night’s fatal plane crash on Lāna‘i. I continue to keep the survivors who are currently under the care of Queen’s Medical Center in my thoughts and prayers.”

“We lost two officials from Maui County’s Department of Planning and the pilot of the charter plane, with three others injured. They were on their way back from a Lāna‘i Planning Commission meeting that ended at 8:30 p.m. Their flight left around 9:05, about an hour after the last commercial flight leaving Lāna‘i. The Maui Planning Department officials played an integral part in development of the county and will be remembered for their service to the community.”

“Maui County has endured great tragedy in just a few months. We are still grieving the loss of Loretta Fuddy, Hawai‘i’s State health director, to a plane crash off the shores of Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i.

“As a unique and isolated county, small chartered planes are necessary for travel within the county. As such, air travel safety is an issue that is highly important to us. Maui Air had a previously unblemished record and I trust that a thorough investigation of the crash will occur. For those traveling by air to and from Lāna‘i, I want to assure you that services are safe and will continue.”

“We are grateful to the first responders in the crash and for their continued commitment to protecting Hawai‘i and those who visit our state.”

“On behalf of the Hawai‘i State Senate, I offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of those who lost their lives and will keep the survivors in our thoughts and prayers.”

 

Coast Guard Press Release on Todays Plane Wreck Off Molokai – Health Director Loretta Fuddy Confirmed Dead

The Coast Guard transported three passengers to Emergency Medical Services after a plane crashed in the ocean approximately one mile off Kalaupapa, Molokai, Wednesday.

Photo via Andrew Pereirra Survivors of today's plane crash were airlifted to waiting ambulances. Courtesy: Catherine Cluett/Molokai Dispatch

Photo via Andrew Pereira on Facebook: Survivors of today’s plane crash were airlifted to waiting ambulances.
Courtesy: Catherine Cluett/Molokai Dispatch

Coast Guard watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center received report of a plane crash with nine passengers aboard at 3:27 p.m. Wednesday.

The Coast Guard launched two MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews and one HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point on Oahu. Coast Guard Cutters Ahi and Galveston Island, home-ported in Honolulu, and two 45-foot Response-Boat Medium crews from Station Maui were also dispatched to the scene.

Rescue swimmers from the Dolphin helicopters were deployed, rescuing three passengers in the water. Maui Fire Rescue rescued additional passengers.

Three people were transported by Dolphin helicopter crews to Honolulu for emergency medical services. Two people were transported by a Makani CKai company plane to Honolulu and the rest of the passengers remained on Molokai.

For more information, contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu public affairs officer at (808) 292-3692.

If imagery for this case becomes available, it will be released in an updated press release.

– See more at: http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/2019390/Plane-crashes-in-ocean-in-Hawaii-Coast-Guard-transports-passengers-to-medical-care#sthash.KDCgtsZk.dpuf

Workshops for Backyard Egg Farmers Scheduled – Federal and State Regulations Apply for Eggs for Sale

A series of workshops have been scheduled to educate the growing number of Hawaii residents who are raising backyard poultry and selling eggs to friends, family and in some instances, the public.  Many are not aware that if they sell their eggs, they must follow federal and state regulations to ensure good food safety practices. Buyers should also know the regulations so they may purchase eggs that are properly handled.

Egg Workshop

Workshops to educate backyard farmers have been scheduled for Kauai, Molokai, Kona and Hilo in the month of November in a collaborative effort between the Hawaii Departments of Health and Agriculture and the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

Dates, Times & Locations:

The workshop will cover topics such as:

  • Candling and grading of eggs
  • Washing and good handling practices
  • Packaging and labeling
  • Compliance with federal and state laws
  • Resources for the backyard egg farmer

Farmers are encouraged to bring their eggs to the workshop.

For workshop information, contact:  Lynn Nakamura-Tengan on Maui at 808-244-3242 ext. 222 or e-mail:  lynnnaka@hawaii.edu

Maui and Molokai Residents Invited to Visit the Hōkūle‘a

The Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a welcomes the public to visit her in Mā‘alaea Harbor for a few more days.  Crew members have been connecting with youth and community groups since their arrival on Maui on June 17th.

The Hokulea in Hilo

The Hokulea in Hilo

A community presentation about the upcoming Worldwide Voyage is planned for Wednesday, June 26, from 6:00-8:00 PM at the headquarters of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary at 726 S. Kīhei Road (see attached flyer).  Apprentice navigator Ka‘iulani Murphy and crewmembers from Hui ‘o Wa‘a Kaulua, ‘Ohana Wa‘a and Polynesian Voyaging Society will be sharing their stories.

While docked at Mā‘alaea, the public is welcome to visit Hōkūle‘a between 9 AM – 12 noon and 1-5 PM through the 27th.

Mālama Hawai‘i is the first leg of Mālama Honua, the Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.  Hōkūle‘a will pay respects to communities throughout Hawai‘i in gratitude for 38 years of support of voyaging here.

Na Aumakua of the Hokulea

Na Aumakua of the Hokulea

In addition, we will feature stories of leadership and wise practices in resource management, voyaging and navigation, innovative education, and cultural practice throughout the islands.  The plans for the Worldwide Voyage will be shared at every port.  Over the next several weeks*, Hōkūle‘a will be in the waters of Maui Nui:

  • Through June 27      Mā‘alaea, Maui
  • June 28 – Jul 1           Lahaina, Maui
  • July 1 – 3                      Kealaikahiki, Kaho‘olawe
  • July 3 – 8                      Mānele, Lāna‘i
  • July 8 – 15                   Kaunakakai, Moloka‘i
  • August 16 – 18           Hāna, Maui
  • August 18 – 19           Honolua, Maui
  • August 19 – 20          Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i
  • August 20 – 23          Kaunakakai, Moloka‘i

* All dates are subject to change.  Committed to the safety of our crews and vessels, all sail dates are weather/safety dependent.

Official Athlete Start List Announced for Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships

The Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O), presented by Kona Longboard Island Lager annually crowns world champions in the two disciplines of traditional (prone) and stand up paddleboarding (SUP). The endurance challenge represents the pinnacle achievement for paddlers around the world, looking to test their abilities in the sport. Race weekend updates and race day coverage will be fed to Facebook and Twitter at hash tag #M2O. Official start list can be found at Molokai2Oahu.com.

Molokai2Oahu

The 17th annual M2O on Sunday, July 28, 2013 is poised to display the most competitive race in the men’s SUP division that the event has ever experienced. The women’s SUP field features a record number of talented veterans who are capable of pushing the limits and delivering a close race.

Men’s defending champion Connor Baxter from the island of Maui returns this year after setting a course record of 4 hours, 13 minutes, 26 seconds in 2012. In addition to his speed on an unlimited SUP board, Baxter also holds the record as the youngest male champion in race history, claiming his first victory at 16. Now 18, Baxter will be tested by another young gun also from Maui, 20-year-old Kai Lenny.

Last year, Lenny proved he had the potential to become a champion at M2O after he crossed the channel in record time on a stock SUP board and still managed to finish third overall (4:22:14), just minutes behind his faster counterparts on unlimited boards. Racing this year on a sleeker UL board, there is no doubt Lenny will prove troublesome for the other top men.

M20 Paddleboard

Excitement from the coast of California came when news broke about Danny Ching’s entry into this year’s men’s SUP race. The 30-year-old Redondo Beach resident is currently considered America’s best SUP athlete, having won a flurry of events over the past two years. This will be Ching’s first attempt at the M2O championship. An accomplished OC-1 paddler and two-time Champion of the OC -1 Molokai race which covers the same course. Ching was the first Californian to win the coveted title and is keen to do the same at M2O.    

Throw in top SUP athletes from Australia, Travis Grant, 30, and South Africa, Kimon dos Santos, 15, and the race could get tight when the paddlers round Oahu’s iconic China Wall toward the finish line. Grant has been close to Baxter in their European meetings. Dos Santos is the youngest paddler in the field; however, youth has proved beneficial in this race considering Baxter’s M2O championship at the age of 16.

Also in this year’s mix are experienced M2O racers Scott Gamble, 37, from Oahu and Livio Menelau, 34, Maui.

Familiar faces make up the grouping of favorites in the women’s SUP race. Returning champion Talia Gangini-Decoite, 20, will defend her title after breaking former champion Andrea Moller’s win streak, while also setting a new women’s record of 4:55:02. Gangini-Decoite’s record also represents the first time a woman has finished under the five-hour mark in the SUP division. In fact, she smashed Moller’s former record (5:26:51) by more than 30 minutes under favorable conditions.

Moller, 33, is back. As reported by M2O founder Mike Takahashi, the powerful paddler and big wave surfer has been refocused on her training after completing her course work to become a paramedic, while also working full-time and raising a family. Moller convincingly snapped up repeat victories in 2010 and ’11, setting new course records in each win.

All women will need to look out for Annabel Anderson, 32, from New Zealand. Anderson is brining with her the momentum from a series of recent international victories.

M20 Paddleboard

Terrene Black, 29, from Australia will push the pace after finishing third in 2012 (5:18:48). Jenny Kalambach, 29, from the Big Island rounds out the field of top female paddlers. Like Black, Kalambach holds one of the top five M2O finish times (5:46:11).

Celebrities and surfing pros, past and present, join the SUP field this year:

Oracle Team USA Skipper and America’s Cup Champion (2010) James Spithill, 33, from Australia is racing solo SUP in his first crossing of the Ka’iwi Channel. No boat, no crew – just a man and his board.

  • Dancing with the Stars semi-finalist and General Hospital Star Ingo Rademacher, 41, is racing solo SUP in his second M2O having finished the 2011 race in 5:33:38.
  • Hawaiian Legends: Surfing icons and brothers Gerry and Victor Lopez team up with friend Dale Hope as a three-man team.
  • German Surf Champ Sonni Hönscheid, 32, takes on the waves in the Channel of Bones for the first time.
  • Big Wave rider Jamie Sterling, 31, is back in team competition after getting a taste of the channel last year, finishing in 5:15:37 with partner 2012 partner Tucker Ingalls.

 

M20 Paddleboard

The story line for the men and women’s traditional paddleboard championship can be answered by asking one simple question – Can anyone beat the Australians?

Watching an Australian paddler on a traditional paddleboard is a textbook lesson in power and efficiency. That is why it will be difficult to unseat male and female defending champions Brad Gaul and Jordan Mercer. However, good competitors do not get complacent, especially when the closest competition for these two paddlers will come from fellow Australians.

Last year, Gaul fell about three minutes shy of former champ Jamie Mitchell’s course record of 4:40:31. The 34-year-old Gaul will start this year’s race with a new board he designed and is reported to be on a rigorous training regimen in preparation to defend his title, and perhaps set a new record.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/K8O_W_V5rMc]

Aussie Matt Poole could be a surprise in the men’s field this year. The 25-year-old has raced M2O on a team, so he knows what the channel can dish out. Poole has had several months to switch from Australian Ironman training to long-distance paddleboarding.

Jackson English, 38, returns after finishing second to Gaul last year (4:59:57).

Brian Rocheleau who floated across the finish line in 5:01:49 tested English last year. In recent years, Rocheleau, a 37-year-old Oahu firefighter, has been the only American to consistently challenge the Australian athletes since they essentially took ownership of the division in 2001 after Aaron Bitmead’s win (5:29:01), followed by Jamie Mitchell’s string of 10 straight championships.

Some know her as “Jordie.” The M2O community knows her as the youngest overall champion in the field and current course record holder (5:22:31, 2011). At 19, Mercer looks unstoppable, but her bid for a third straight championship might be put in question by the entry of another 19-year-old and fellow competitor on the Australian Ironman series, Miranda Davies. This is Davies’ first M2O championship. Davies has experience in the channel having recently won the Surfski Championships on the same course earlier this year.

After claiming a legendary eight M2O championships and completing 12 consecutive crossings of the Molokai Channel, Kanesa Duncan-Seraphin will be missed from this year’s race while she enjoys time as a new mom with her family.

In the stock category, look out for the following athletes:

Traditional
Jack Bark, 19, Palos Verdes, CA – 2012 M2O winner and California’s top stock paddler.
Ryan Butcher, 34, South Africa – South African stock champion.
Zeb Walsh, Australia – 3rd 2012 M2O championship

SUP
Eric Terrien, 31, Spain – Spain’s top distance paddler.
Riggs Napoleon, 16, Hawaii – Riggs is the youngest person to ever complete the channel solo on any craft at age 12. He has matured and will definitely be a contender.
Andrew Logreco, 28, Hawaii – Former stock record holder.
Rachel Bruntsch 29, Hawaii – Current women’s SUP stock record holder (5:49:10).

Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships Valued Partners
The organizers and athletes of the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship, presented by Kona Longboard Island Lager, thank the event’s valued partners for making the annual race possible (alphabetically): Dukes, Futures, Garmin, GoPro, Kona Longboard Island Lager, Lifeproof, Maui Jim, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, Patagonia, Pflueger Honda, Rogue SUP, Standup Paddle Magazine, Teva and Watermans Applied Science.

M20 paddleboard

About the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships

Founded in 1997, the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, presented by Kona Longboard Island Lager, is set to celebrate its 17th anniversary on Sunday, July 28, 2013. M2O has grown from a grassroots challenge for the legendary lifeguards and watermen of Oahu to the premiere event for the sport of paddleboarding, annually crowning world champions in the two disciplines of traditional (prone) and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). The fastest athletes complete the crossing in less than five hours, which begins on Kaluakoi Beach on the north shore of Molokai and finishes in Maunalua Bay on the south shore of Oahu.

Holy Relics Donated to Kalaupapa National Historical Park

A very special donation was recently made to Kalaupapa National Historical Park this past April, courtesy of Grandma Jean O’Keefe of Kualapu‘u, Molokai.  The donation consisted of three objects associated with the life of Father Damien.

Holy RelicsDonated Holy Relics of Saint Damien

Father Damien was canonized in the Roman Catholic Church as a Martyr of Charity in 2009, and objects associated with his life are now considered holy relics.  The donation to Kalaupapa NHP included: a fragment of the Saint’s original coffin; cloth that touched his head; and nails he used to build the original Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Church on Molokai….

More Here: Holy Relics Donated to Kalaupapa National Historical Park.

Erika Stein Selected as Superintendent of Kalaupapa National Historical Park

Erika Stein has been selected as the new superintendent of Kalaupapa National Historical Park on the island of Moloka`i in Hawai`i. She replaces Steve Prokop who was recently selected as superintendent of Redwood National and State Parks.

Erika Stein

Erika Stein

“Erika’s educational and professional background makes her the ideal candidate for this position. She is a well-respected leader with a proven track record of working collaboratively with the Kalaupapa community,” said Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz. “I’m delighted that she has accepted this assignment.”

Stein is currently the acting superintendent at Kalaupapa. She has worked at the park for more than five years, first as an archaeologist, then as the Cultural Resource Program Manager, before accepting her present temporary assignment. During her time at Kalaupapa she has been instrumental in growing the park’s cultural resource program, as well as its interpretation and education program. Among her accomplishments are her work with the Hawaiian Legacy effort to perpetuate traditional knowledge and skills, and her involvement with cultural resource education with local student groups. Stein was also part of the planning team for events celebrating the canonization of Saints Damien and Marianne. She will transition into the superintendent position permanently in late June.

“I’m so grateful to Kalaupapa and its community for all the opportunities, support, and encouragement that have already been afforded to me,” said Stein. “I look forward to guiding this richly diverse park, with all its astounding cultural and natural resources, and will continue to work with the staff and community to preserve this very sacred place.”

Prior to working for the National Park Service Stein was a contract archaeologist in Hawai`i and California. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California in Santa Barbara, and a Master’s Degree in Maritime Archaeology from James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. As part of her graduate education she participated in a field program in ethnography and marine sciences in the Solomon Islands.

Stein will be getting married on July 5th on the island of Moloka`i. She has a cat that has traveled with her since her graduate school days in Australia, as well as two dogs. She enjoys being active – she’s a regular participant in endurance events, such as running, ocean swimming, and triathlons – and has been a regular hiker of the Kalaupapa Trail for the past six years. She also loves yoga and dancing hula with others in the Kalaupapa community.

The primary story at Kalaupapa is the forced relocation from 1866 to 1969 of people from Hawai`i afflicted with Hansen’s disease (leprosy) to the remote northern Kalaupapa Peninsula on the island of Moloka`i. Today, Kalaupapa serves as a place for education and contemplation, where many families can reconnect with an ancestor once considered “lost”.

Before Kalaupapa became a settlement for individuals with Hansen’s disease it was home to Native Hawaiians who lived within the boundaries of what is now the park for more than 900 years. Structural remnants built and used over centuries are everywhere within the park and illustrate how early Native Hawaiians lived their daily lives.

Kalaupapa National Historical Park

Kalaupapa National Historical Park

Kalaupapa National Historical Park was designated as a unit of the National Park System on December 22, 1980. The park’s authorized boundaries encompass 8,725 acres of land and 2,000 acres of water, though only a small part of the park – 23 acres – is owned by the National Park Service. The remainder is owned by various other government and private organizations, which work cooperatively with the National Park Service in managing the landscape. Parts of the park hold designations at both the state and federal level, including status as a state Natural Area Reserve, Forest Reserve, and Hawai`i State Seabird Sanctuary, as well as designation as a National Historic Landmark and National Natural Landmark.

Na Wahine o Ke Kai and Moloka‘i Hoe Announce They Will Join Forces for 2013 Race

Registration Open for 35TH Na Wahine O Ke Kai and 61st Moloka‘i Hoe

For the first-time in the history of both races, Na Wahine o Ke Kai and Moloka‘i Hoe race committees are joining forces on all aspects of race planning, including logistics and sponsorships.  It is the hope that this new direction will align resources and bring more support to both races.

Molokai Combo“We are happy to team up with the Moloka‘i Hoe, officially,” said Hannie Anderson, Race Director and co-founder of Na Wahine O Ke Kai.  “While we have always helped each other’s race over the years, we felt it important that we pull all our resources together so that we can leverage our strengths to put on the premier races for the sport of outrigger canoe racing in the world.”

Photos by Brooke Wilson

Photos by Brooke Wilson

For over 35 years, Na Wahine O Ke Kai has been organized by co-founders Anderson, Shelly Gilman, Haunani Campos-Olds, Carleen Ornellas, and Rosie Lum.  The Na Wahine O Ke Kai committee will team up with organizers from the O’ahu Canoe Racing Association (OCRA), who put on the men’s Moloka‘i Hoe.

“This coming together will allow us to streamline a lot of the logistics that go into planning such a large event,” said Stan Kaleiana‘ole Dickson, Moloka‘i Hoe race director.

Organizers anticipate more than 200 crews will compete in this year’s races, including clubs from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Guam, Tahiti and the continental United States.  Each year over 2000 paddlers from around the world compete in the Na Wahine O Ke Kai and Moloka‘i Hoe.

The course is a daunting 41-mile, non-stop race from the island of Moloka‘i to the island of O‘ahu, taking a crew of ten about 5-6 hours to complete.  Crew changes occur every 20-30 minutes in the open ocean, with paddlers in the canoe rolling over one side while the rested paddlers are climbing in the canoe from the other side.  Crews contending for the title must endure major training and preparation for months in order to complete the race.

Molokai 3
Of Polynesian origin, the canoes are about 45 feet long and weigh about 400 lbs.  Six paddlers sit evenly spaced the length of the canoe.  The canoe is very narrow, about 2 feet wide, and stabilized by an ama, a 10-foot long float which is connected to the canoe by two wooden struts called ‘iako.  It is this catamaran design that allows the canoes to venture into large open ocean swells.  While the sport of outrigger canoe racing originated in Hawai‘i, today it can be found all over world, with healthy participation from girls and boys and men and women of all ages.

Na Wahine O Ke Kai
Race Date:  September 22, 2013
Race Start:  8:00 a.m., Hale O Lono Harbor, Moloka‘i
Race End:  Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki (Fronting the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa)

For additional info, registration, and pre-race activities, please visit www.nawahineokekai.com.

Moloka‘i Hoe
Race Date:  October 13, 2013
Race Start: 8:00 a.m., Hale O Lono Harbor, Moloka’i
Race End:  Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki (Fronting the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa)

For additional info, registration, and pre-race activities, please visit the website, www.molokaihoe.com

ABOUT THE NA WAHINE O KE KAI
Hannie Anderson, Na Wahine O Ke Kai co-race founder and race director, dreamed of the day women would conquer the rough waters of the Kaiwi channel.  In 1954, then 17 years old, Anderson and two of her teammates from the Waikiki Surf Club hitched a ride on a boat from O‘ahu to Moloka‘i to watch their men’s team paddle in the Moloka‘i Hoe, a race across the Kaiwi channel open only to men.  Anderson’s coach was furious that the girls had found their way to Moloka‘i, but reluctantly allowed them to observe the race from the safety of the escort boat.  After six hours of observing their male counterparts, the girls were convinced that women were capable of making the crossing.  It wasn’t until 25 years later that Anderson and friends saw that dream come true with the creation of the first official women’s race on October 15, 1979.

Now in its 35th year, the Na Wahine O Ke Kai continues to be the premier competition for female outrigger canoe racing in the world.

ABOUT THE MOLOKA’I HOE
On October 12, 1952, three koa outrigger canoes launched through the surf at Kawakiu Bay on Moloka’i’s west side. Powered by six paddlers, each of the canoes was bound for Oʻahu across 38+ miles of open ocean in the Kaiwi Channel. Eight hours and 55 minutes later, the Molokaʻi canoe, Kukui O Lanikaula, landed on the beach at Waikiki in front of the Moana Hotel.  Thus began the world’s most prestigious outrigger canoe race, the Molokaʻi Hoe.

Registration is now being accepted online for the 2013 Na Wahine O Ke Kai and Moloka‘i Hoe open ocean outrigger canoe races.  Teams can access the race registration system at www.molokaihoe.com and www.nawahineokekai.com.

Coast Guard Looking for Plane that Disappeared Traveling from Maui to Molokai

The Coast Guard continues to search Sunday, for a privately owned Cessna 172S airplane that disappeared from radar while traveling from Maui to Molokai.

A Cessna 172

A Cessna 172

Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu received a report at 7 p.m. Saturday, that the airplane disappeared from radar approximately 2.5 miles north of Maui’s North Shore.

A debris field that appears to be from an aircraft has been located in the area, approximately two miles north of Maui, but confirmation that it is the missing Cessna can’t be made.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Ahi, from Honolulu, and response boat crews from Coast Guard Station Maui are searching the area.

Maui Fire Department and Maui Police Department have conducted land searches without locating any signs of aircraft debris.

The Cessna 172S is a four-seat, single-engine, fixed-wing aircraft. It is unknown if anyone other than the pilot is aboard.

Congresswoman Hirono Introduces Resolution Honoring Mother Marianne of Molokai

Congresswoman Hirono Introduces Resolution Honoring Mother Marianne of Molokai

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono today was joined by Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa , and two Republicans, Congressman Richard Hanna (NY-24) and Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25) in introducing a House Resolution honoring Mother Marianne Cope for her life’s legacy of compassionate care and dedication to those she served at the Hansen’s disease settlement at Kalaupapa on the island of Molokai.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/ZDWuKbJ9fwc]

 

Local Artist Commissioned to Create Posters Commemorating Sainthood of Mother Marianne Cope

Standing in front of Bishop Home where she ministered to girls and women suffering from Hansen’s disease, Saint Marianne Cope has been honored in a new work of art commissioned by Pacific Historic Parks (PHP).

The just-released 12” x 18” poster commemorates Saint Marianne’s canonization, which took place on October 21. It was designed by O‘ahu artist Nick Kuchar and uses a combination of rich hues, shapes and text to create a unique retro look.

“Saint Marianne’s canonization is an incredible event that holds so much meaning to our local community,” said Brad Wallis, President and CEO of Pacific Historic Parks. “We felt it was important to commission a local artist who would understand the historical significance of this event and be able to tell the story of Saint Marianne through the use of art.”

The poster is available exclusively at PHP’s Kalaupapa National Historical Park Bookstore and online at www.pacifichistoricparksbookstore.org. PHP, a cooperating association that assists the National Park Service (NPS), supports the education, preservation, development and interpretation of four historic sites throughout the Pacific. Proceeds from the sale of the Saint Marianne poster will support education and research at Kalaupapa NHP.

“The support we receive from Pacific Historic Parks plays an integral role in our ability to maintain the historical integrity of our national parks, including Kalaupapa National Historical Park,” said Steve Prokop, NPS Superintendent at Kalaupapa NHP. “Our partnership with PHP helps us to meet our mission of preserving the natural and cultural resources of our parks and to educate visitors on the historical significance of each site. Saint Marianne’s interpretive poster is a perfect example of how this partnership allows us to share her story with the world.”

In 1888, Saint Marianne established Bishop Home for women and girls in Kalaupapa, a small community located on Moloka‘i’s northern peninsula where Hansen’s disease patients were sent to live in isolation from 1866-1969. Saint Marianne spent 35 years helping these patients and lived on Moloka‘i until her death in 1918. The National Park Service and Hawai’i State Department of Health now manage the area.

Pacific Historic Parks also commissioned Kuchar to create a poster honoring Saint Damien, who was canonized in 2009. According to Kuchar, “I feel extremely honored and blessed to be able to create one-of-a kind tributes to these two great humanitarians in Hawai’i.”

For more information on the Saint Marianne poster, contact Sarah Safranski, Communications and Publications Manager, Pacific Historic Parks at ssafranski@pacifichistoricparks.org or visit www.pacifichistoricparksbookstore.org.