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Coast Guard and Fire Department Searching for Man Swept Out to Sea Off Maui

The Coast Guard and Maui Fire Department are searching for a man swept out to sea near Kahului, Maui, Tuesday.

Missing is a 34-year-old Caucasian man last seen wearing dark shorts, no shirt with a shaved head.

Currently searching are an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and HC-130 Hercules airplane crew, both from Air Station Barbers Point, the crew of USCGC AHI (WPB 87364) and ground crews from Coast Guard Station Maui.

Maui Fire Department is searching with a helicopter crew and additional ground crews are conducting shoreline searches. An incident command post has been established at Olivine Tide Pools.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center were notified at 9:15 p.m., Monday, of two people swept out to sea near the Olivine Tide Pools. One person was recovered and safely transported to Maui Memorial reportedly in stable condition.

The Coast Guard issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast requesting that mariners in the area keep a sharp look out and report any sighting to command center watchstanders at 808-842-2600.

On-scene weather conditions are reportedly winds 24 mph with waves at 9 feet.

Kehena Beach Drowning Victim Identified

Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation into the death of a North Kohala man who was swimming in rough water at Kehena Beach in Pāhoa, Sunday afternoon (January 22).

Kehena Beach

Police and Fire Department personnel responded to a 12:06 p.m. call of a man in distress in the water off the Kehena Beach shore. Several people attempted to assist the man back to shore but were unable to get to him due to the rough ocean conditions. The swimmer was last seen going under the water. His body was later recovered by fire/rescue personnel approximately 100 feet from shore.

He has been identified as 43-year-old Erik Collins of Kapaʻau.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Big Island Police Identify Woman Swept Away By Flash Flood

Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation into the death of a Honokaʻa woman who was swept away by rushing rain water Saturday night (January 21).

Beth Radl Facebook profile picture

She has been identified as 47-year-old Beth R. Radl.

Police and Fire Department personnel responded to a 10:42 p.m. Saturday that Radl had tried to cross a “river” of rushing water near her home on the 3900 block of Kahana Drive, when she was swept away by the knee-high water.

Her body was located at 5:29 a.m. Sunday (January 22) in a stream about a quarter-mile away.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Coast Guard Rescues 3 Boaters From Sunken Vessel Off Big Island

Three boaters were rescued by the Coast Guard after their 48-foot sailing vessel Bobo Link sank two and a half miles off of Hapuna Beach, Big Island, Wednesday.

Three boaters were rescued by the Coast Guard after their 48-foot sailing vessel Bobo Link sank two and a half miles off of Hapuna Beach, Big Island, Jan. 18, 2017. The crew of the USCGC Kiska (WPB 1336), homeported in Hilo, safely recovered the men from their life raft and transported them to Kawaihae Harbor. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

Rescued are three Big Island residents:

Steven Jenkins, 48-years-old, owner and operator of the Bobo Link
Brandan Jenkins, 23-years-old
Nathan Gibson, 43-years-old

The crew of the USCGC Kiska (WPB 1336), homeported in Hilo, safely recovered the men from their life raft and will transport them to Kawaihae Harbor.

The Coast Guard Cutter Kiska (WPB-1336) USCG photo by PA3 Jacquelyn Zettles

“We cannot stress enough the importance of carrying and properly registering an emergency positioning indicating radio beacon which is ultimately what saved the lives of these men,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Peterson, a watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center. “While the men also were able to contact emergency services personnel via cell phone, we strongly recommend boaters carry a working VHF radio in the event that cell service in unavailable.”

At 1:48 p.m., watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received a hit from a registered EPIRB.

Minutes later, watchstanders at the Sector Honolulu command center received a relayed call from the Hawaii County Fire Department notifying them that a sailing vessel, with three persons aboard, sank off of the Big Island.

Sector Honolulu diverted the Kiska crew already on patrol in the area to the scene where an HCFD helicopter crew was to provide oversight until they arrived.

No injuries were reported.

Lower Level of Kīlauea’s Summit Lava Lake Exposes Vent Wall

The summit lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater on Sunday Jan. 15, 2017 was about 50.5 m (166 ft) below the crater floor (vent rim). One of the most interesting things exposed by the lower lake level was the clear view of the thick, dark veneer of lava on the eastern vent wall (close-up shown below). This veneer formed when the lava lake level was high; lava next to the vent wall cooled and solidified, leaving “bathtub rings” as the lake level rose and fell.

HVO and Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park’s Jaggar Museum, perched on the rim of Kīlauea’s summit caldera, are visible in the upper left corner of the photo. (Click to Enlarge)

The black rock on the crater floor around the vent was created when the lava lake rose to the point of overflowing in April-May 2015 and October 2016.

Telephoto image of the lava veneer on the 50.5 m (166 ft) tall eastern vent wall; the lava lake surface is visible at lower left. The solidified lava coating the vent wall is quite thick. Parts of it have bathtub rings, but much of it is composed of lumpy protuberances that might have been small ledges at the lake margin or ramparts that formed around spattering sources.

If the lake level remains low, sections of this veneer will likely peel away from the vent wall and collapse into the lava lake.

In places, the dark-colored veneer of lava, or bathtub rings, have already collapsed into the lava lake, exposing older, light- or rusty-colored rocks in the vent wall. The lava lake surface is visible in the foreground.

The distance from the vent rim to the lake surface is 50.5 m (166 ft).

DLNR & YOU TV Special Chronicles Hawaii’s Endangered Forest Birds

The latest DLNR & You television special, The Endangered Forest Birds of Hawai‘i, documents the efforts of dozens of organizations and hundreds of people across the state to halt the extinction of critically endangered forest birds.

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “We hope this show brings the serious plights of these native birds into our homes.  When you see a tiny ‘Akikiki (Kaua‘i honeycreeper) in the forest or hear the call of the native crow, the ‘Alalā, it reinforces why so many people are undertaking some pretty extraordinary steps to reverse the downward trend of numerous forest bird populations.  The birds have long been part of Hawai‘i’s natural landscape, and culturally they’ve been revered for centuries by Native Hawaiians.”

Photographed over the course of nearly two years, “The Endangered Forest Birds of Hawai‘i, transports you deep into the Alaka’i Plateau on Kaua‘i, where the Kaua‘i Forest Bird Recovery Project (KFBRP) is working with numerous partners to try and save three endangered species of tiny birds on the brink of extinction (‘Akikiki, ‘Akeke’e, and Puaiohi). Dr. Lisa “Cali” Crampton, the KFBRP Project Leader commented, “The most recent estimate for the number of ‘Akikiki is 450 birds, give or take fifty.  The worst thing that could happen is for any of these forest birds to join the list of twenty-three endemic bird species that have gone extinct since 1778. All of our partners and everyone working to reverse these trends are excited to show viewers around Hawai‘i some pretty astonishing projects underway to save these amazing forest dwellers and their native homes.”

The show chronicles some of these remarkable projects and the people working in some really tough environments, toward the common goal of preventing further population reductions and ultimately extinction.  In one segment you can watch as a staffer from San Diego Zoo Global climbs a freely suspended ladder, 40-feet in the air, to collect marble-sized eggs from a treetop nest in an ʻōhiʻa tree. Another segment is dedicated to “The ‘Alalā Project,” which for several decades has worked tirelessly toward the reintroduction of captive-raised ‘Alalā, back into the Pu’u Makaʻala Natural Area Reserve on Hawai‘i Island. You’ll see, first-hand, the tremendous amount of work being done by a broad collaboration of federal, state and non-profit partners to be sure the birds continue to exist and thrive in their natural habitats.

The Endangered Forest Birds of Hawai‘i, airs on KFVE-TV (K5) on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. and again on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017 at 9:30 p.m.  It will be available on line for viewing after 7 p.m. on Jan. 21st at https://vimeo.com/199157463. This is the third DLNR & You television special to have been broadcast by K5.  In 2016, Renegades, Risks and Rewards of the Napali Coast, traced the work of the DLNR Division of State Parks and Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement to clean-up the fabled Napali Coast State Wilderness Park.  The second show, The Endangered Sea Birds of Kaua‘i, describes the plight of native seabirds, very much like the same issues facing forest birds.  Airtime for all three programs is provided by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

Foul Play NOT SUSPECTED in Pahoa Fire – Police Seeking Witnesses

Hawaiʻi Island police are seeking witnesses to the start of a fire Monday (January 16) in Pāhoa.

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

The fire started just after midnight Monday at a vacant business at 15-2948 Pāhoa Government Road next to Luquin’s restaurant in Pāhoa town.

Police do not suspect foul play. They ask anyone who saw or heard the start of the fire to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2383 or wendall.carter@hawaiicounty.gov

Hawaii Governor Calls for Reboot of School System

Gov. David Ige today promised to reshape the Department of Education to support dreams and aspirations of each student in remarks he made at the 3rd Annual Hawai‘i School Empowerment Conference at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

The conference was sponsored by the Education Institute of Hawai‘i, a non-profit organization committed to improving public education in Hawai‘i. The annual conference aims to increase awareness and deepening understanding of the effort to improve public education through school empowerment and innovation in learning.

Here is the full text of Gov. Ige’s prepared remarks:

A Clear Path to Achieving Excellence in Hawaiʻi’s Public Schools 

Coding. Robotics. Digital media. International education exchanges. None of these programs were offered when I attended public schools in Pearl City, and it’s impossible to predict what fascinating opportunities await students in coming years.

What I can tell you is this: The success of today’s students in the future workplace and in our communities requires an absolute reboot of the rigid school system built over a century ago. Our school system is simply not relevant to today’s students.

That’s why I asked the members of the Board of Education, those I appointed and those who began serving prior to my taking office, to develop and implement a plan to transition from yesterday’s system to one that truly prepares students to think creatively and to be innovators. I asked board members to design a system that encourages teachers and principals to make meaningful decisions about curriculum and instruction, educational programs, and expenditure of schools funds.

The Board responded to my challenge. They worked with the community to develop a new strategic plan for the department. They courageously determined that transformation requires a fresh mindset, starting at the top. And they initiated a search for a new superintendent. I fully support this decision. We need a change agent who is committed to exploring unconventional options in the quest to prepare our students for the future.

I want students, parents, teachers and other educators to be assured that my goal is to reshape the department so that it supports the dreams and aspirations of each student. I believe those closest to the students understand best how their students should be educated. That is the type of system we are working together to achieve.

The community supports this goal as evidenced by the tremendous participation in last summer’s Education Summit and dozens of follow-up meetings in communities throughout the state. I am proud of the work my volunteer team, parents, teachers, business leaders and community members have done to create a Blueprint for Hawaiʻi’s education system. I asked them to think big, and they did. I can tell you, there is no shortage of innovative thinking in Hawaiʻi.

My passion for education isn’t new, and the solutions I am promoting now aren’t a surprise to anyone who has been recently engaged in the dialogue on education. I campaigned on this issue and education remains my top priority.

We don’t know what the next technological wave will bring. But we do know that Hawaiʻi’s public education system must be set up so teachers are able to exercise their professional judgement and employ tools that enable student success.

Students who design robots in elementary school will build the communities of the future. Students who experience what it’s like to be innovators and entrepreneurs in high school will drive the state’s new economy. Students who travel with their class will collaborate with their peers around the world to solve global challenges. It is our responsibility to provide them with a robust learning experience so they can achieve rewarding and successful lives.

UH Researcher: “Marijuana Compounds Show Promise in Treatment of Cardiac Disease”

A Nevada company is hoping to develop new medicines for heart failure using compounds in marijuana and a novel therapy identified by a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researcher.

Dr. Alexander Stokes in his JABSOM laboratory.

Dr. Alexander Stokes, assistant research professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine, obtained a U.S. patent for his novel therapy in 2015.  The patent claims the cannabinoid receptor TRPV1 can be regulated therapeutically by plant-based cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids include psychoactive and non-psychoactive compounds derived from marijuana, both of which have medicinal properties. They exert their effects inside cells after binding to receptor proteins in the cell membranes, such as TRPV1 and the classical cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2.

Pharmaceutical development company GrowBlox Life Sciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of GB Sciences Inc., obtained the license for Stokes’ intellectual therapy last December from Makai Biotechnology LLC, a Hawaiʻi-based cardiovascular therapy company founded by Stokes.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for more than 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030,” said Dr. Stokes. In the U.S, he explained, this equates to one in three deaths, about one every 40 seconds, and costs the country approximately $316.6 billion a year.

Patients urgently need new drugs that can prevent or reverse the stages of cardiac disease and heart failure, according to Dr. Stokes. He further explained that TRPV1 is clearly a major cellular receptor involved in the progression to heart failure, and there is great potential for the new, proprietary mixtures within the GB Life Sciences portfolio to regulate the TRPV1 cannabinoid receptor.

GB Sciences said licensing the TRPV1 patent is a major step in its commitment to discovering new drugs that interact with the non-classical cannabinoid receptors, in addition to binding to the better characterized CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.

“Our vision of novel, patentable cannabis-based formulations in the treatment of major diseases is now married with a proven drug target for modulation of adverse outcomes in cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Andrea Small-Howard, Chief Science Officer of GB Sciences.

Cannabinoids in native plant extracts exerted a more significant effect on TRPV1 receptors than purified cannabinoids in published research reports.

“GB Sciences believes its cannabis-plant-based approach may provide additional clinical benefits to patients due to the ‘entourage effect.’ In addition, the side effect profiles of cannabis-based therapies have generally been well tolerated,” said Dr. Small-Howard. The “entourage effect” refers to the theory that some cannabis compounds have greater effects on the human body when combined with other compounds than when given alone.

Said GB Sciences CEO John Poss, “This license is an important step in our company’s march to successful drug discovery.  We are very proud of Dr. Small-Howard and her team, and we expect results from this effort that will enable the company to do well by doing good for literally millions of cardiac patients around the world.”

Update Map of Lava Flow Field

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of December 14 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of January 12 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. Surface flows are focused on a branch of the flow east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō that has been active since late last year. The front of that flow branch has stalled, but there are weak scattered breakouts upslope along its length.

Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Disregard the area around the Kamokuna ocean entry, where the Kamokuna lava delta collapsed on New Year’s Eve. The lava flow polygons in these maps are layered to show additions to flow. As such, they do not show where material has been removed, such as by lava delta collapse.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/).

November Lava Breakout Remains Active and Kamokuna Ocean Entry Continues

The November 21 breakout from the episode 61g lava flow remains active.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible in the upper left of the photo.

The tip is 2.4 km (1.5 mi) straight-line from the vent, and the furthest active lava is roughly 600 m (660 yd) back from the tip. The breakout, extending to the lower right of the image, can be identified by its light silver color.

The Kamokuna ocean entry remains active. On December 31, approximately 21 acres of delta collapsed into the ocean. The remaining ~2.5 acres can be seen at the base of the sea cliff in long narrow sections. On the lower right of the photo, a scarp is visible where a portion of the old sea cliff collapsed.

Degassing from the 61g lava tube is visible from the ocean entry to the upper right of the photo, and Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible in the top middle of the photo.

A close up view of where approximately 4 acres of old sea cliff fell into the ocean during the delta collapse on December 31.

The far eastern end of this collapse (right), is where the old public viewing area was located prior to the collapse.

On the left is a normal photograph of the ocean entry, which produces a robust steam plume and an area of discolored water extending out from the entry point.

The thermal image on the right shows how this area of discolored water corresponds to scalding water temperatures.

Another view of the ocean entry, with the plume of hot water extending out from the ocean entry point.

Governor Ige Announces Increases in Shelter Beds Through New State Contracts

Gov. David Ige announced the state Department of Human Services will award contracts to 33 homeless shelters. Funding will total $13,000,000 for 12 months. The new contracts require shelters to focus on outcome measures such as the number of people they will permanently house over the coming year.

Photo by Sean King

The results of the competitive bids show a net increase in state-funded homeless shelter beds, with 3,761 for the next year vs. 3,577 for last year. Additionally, the shelters are proposing to double the number of people they place in permanent housing from approximately 3,000 to 6,200.

“This is about more than increasing shelter beds,” said Gov. Ige. “It’s about increasing results. For the same taxpayer investment as last year, we’re doubling the number of people getting housed. We are finding better solutions, getting better efficiency, and creating better cooperation.”

The Request for Bids (RFP) process was open to all shelters statewide and follows state law which requires shelters to increase accountability, privacy, and safety for residents while moving people more quickly into permanent housing. In accordance with the state procurement process, shelters were encouraged to ask questions about the RFPs and received written answers. Revisions were made to the RFP based on their feedback. A written record can be found on the state’s procurement office website at:

http://gpcprod.spo.hawaii.gov/spo2/health/rfp103f/detail.php?id=MTI1Mw==&hs=e53b7f8e4919fbec14cb2c182ab6b247.

Contracts will be effective as of Feb. 1, 2017. All state-funded shelters will receive training by the Department of Human Service’s Homeless Programs Office.

Shelter RFP Award Listing

Bed Count Projections

Two Nene Goslings Featured in Video Struck and Killed by Cars

Two of three baby Nene photographed grazing in lush grass alongside the Hanalei River last month were killed by cars as they attempted to cross a highway.  Video shot by DLNR and distributed to media across the state on Dec. 28, 2016, showed a family of Nene; mother, father and their three goslings resting and eating on the stream’s bank underneath the Hanalei Bridge.  The deaths of the two goslings happened last week.

Jean Olbert, a biologist with the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, specializes in protection of Nene on Kaua‘i.  She said, “Many of these deaths are preventable if drivers would simply heed warning signs, slow down, and exercise caution in areas where Nene families commonly breed, nest, and raise their young.”

Olbert and other state biologists continue to look for novel ways to get the word out about Nene road strikes. Our first goal is to increase awareness to visitors on the island who may be less familiar with the native wildlife. Road strikes happen on other islands, but have been particularly bad on Kauai recently with eleven birds struck and killed by vehicles since last December. More than 50 birds have been killed in this manner in the past two years. On Kaua‘i, the worst locations for Nene deaths are around the Hanalei Bridge, on Kilauea Road near the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, and on the west side of the island.

The greatest number of road deaths occur between December and April during the peak breeding and molting season. During this time both adults and goslings can’t fly and especially vulnerable to passing cars and trucks.  Nene like to forage for food along highway edges and ditches that are regularly mowed.  Runoff from paved surfaces helps grow especially desirable grass in these areas. DLNR is opening discussions with the Dept. of Transportation and Kaua‘i County to explore reducing and/or changing roadside vegetation that isn’t as attractive to Nene.

Olbert said most birds are killed on roads in the early morning and evening hours. “There’s a Nene crossing warning sign within 25 feet of where video and photographs of the family were taken.  We really implore all drivers on Kaua‘i to watch for the signs, the Nene, and drive safely.”

Apple Mapping Car Being Spotted Around the Big Island

This afternoon as I was driving in Hilo, I noticed a weird car drive by me with all these cameras on top of it.  At first I thought it was the Google Car that I had seen a few years ago on Bayfront but learned it wasn’t.
I was driving down the Mohouli extension road and the car turned on to Loko Place.  Knowing that Loko Place was a dead end street that was just recently built… I flipped a U-Turn and pulled over on the side of Loko Place and positioned myself to take a picture of the car.
It turned out it was an “Apple” car that was doing mapping for it’s “Maps” application http://maps.apple.com.

Apple Maps states:

Offering an all-new design and a host of innovative features, Maps makes finding and getting to your destination faster and easier than ever. With turn-by-turn spoken directions, interactive 3D views, proactive suggestions, and the ability to use third-party apps right inside Maps, there’s so much to explore.

Maps now predicts the places you’re most likely to go and suggests the fastest way to get there based on traffic, your current location, the time of day, and events on your schedule. So in the morning, Maps can provide a proactive suggestion for the best route to work that avoids traffic. And any upcoming meetings on your calendar are presented with suggested routes. Simply tap the suggestion to display the directions and start navigation.

It looks as though they are trying to compete with Google for customers.  The last time that I can recall the Google car being on the Island was in 2011 but I could be wrong.

The Google car in Wailoa Park

The Google Car works in connection with the Google Bike as the bike can take folks on even narrower roads and trails where the car can’t go.

Man Dies in Two-Vehicle Crash on Highway 130

An unidentified man died following a two-vehicle crash Thursday night (January 5) in Pāhoa. His name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of his family.

Responding to a 6:54 p.m. call, police determined that a 2004 Ford pickup truck had been heading Kalapana-bound on Highway 130 between Leilani Avenue and Malama Street and had been making a U-turn in the roadway when it was struck by a 1998 Ford passenger van traveling Pāhoa-bound.

The unidentified man was a back-seat passenger of the pickup. Medics took him to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 7:55 p.m.

An adult female back-seat passenger of the pickup was also taken to Hilo Medical Center by medics and was being treated for her injuries. She remains in stable condition.

The driver of the pickup, a 74-year old Pāhoa woman, was treated for her injuries at the scene.

The front-seat passenger of the van, a 7-year old Pāhoa girl, was taken to Hilo Medical Center by medics and then flown in stable condition to Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu.

The back-seat passenger of the van, a 65-year old Pāhoa woman, was taken by medics to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of her injuries. She remains in stable condition.

The driver of the passenger van, 30-year-old Justin Clark of Pāhoa, was arrested for DUI, driving without a license and driving without insurance. Police took him to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

After conferring with the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, police released Clark pending further investigation.

Police have initiated a negligent homicide investigation in connection with this crash. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police believe that alcohol and speed were factors in this crash.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Erhard Autrata at 961-8118. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

This is the first traffic fatality this year compared with none at this time last year.

Housekeeper Leaves Note Warning Tourist About Dangers of Taking Lava Rock Home

A Colorado resident that was staying in a room at the Hilton Grand Vacation Club here in Hawaii was stunned when they returned to their room and found this note left from one of the housekeepers:
Mr & Mrs. ********

Thanks for staying at HGVC (Hilton Grand Vacation Club). 
Just to let you know please don’t attempt to bring home some stones or rocks & sand from HAWAII.

According to what they say that Madam Pele Goddess won’t allow anyone to take it home from the Hawaiian Islands.  It is not safe.  You might get sick or something. 

Your Housekeeper ********** 

Happy New Years

A neighbor of the person that received the note told me, “They had little bags of sand in their room from the beaches they’d gone to.

Update HVO Lava Map Shows Revised Coastline

This map updates the preliminary ocean entry map below, based on mapping conducted on January 3, 2017. The map of the coastline at the lava flow ocean entry at Kamokuna shows the areas of the lava delta and adjacent coastline that collapsed into the ocean on December 31, 2016.

The collapsed areas are shown with an ‘x’ pattern and a blue background and are now part of the ocean. The shape of the eastern Kamokuna lava delta was revised based on satellite imagery acquired on December 25, 2016. The remaining sections of the lava delta, including the inactive western Kamokuna delta, are shown as a stippled pattern with a pink background. The active lava tube is shown with a yellow line and is dashed where its location is uncertain.

This image is from a research camera positioned on Holei Pali, looking east towards Lava Flow 61G and Kalapana.

The current ocean entry point, where lava cascades into the water, is located where the lava tube intersects the sea cliff. The NPS ropeline is shown as a dashed black line. The western extent of the ropeline was not mapped and is therefore not show; the eastern extent of the ropeline was moved on January 3, and has been approximated on this map between the emergency road and the coast. The dotted black line inland from the coast marks the location of the sea cliff before the Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption began in 1983. The background is a Digital Globe satellite image acquired January 9, 2016; the episode 61g lava flow is the partly transparent area that overlies the background image.

Kamokuna Lava Delta Collapse Also Takes Part of Old Sea Cliff

The rocky shelf at the base of the sea cliff is all that remains of the Kamokuna lava delta following the New Year’s Eve collapse (Dec. 31, 2016), which sent acres of rock plunging into the sea.

The exposed lava tube continued to feed a cascade of molten rock down the steep sea cliff, beginning the process of building another lava delta at the ocean entry, as this photo was taken on Jan. 1, 2017.

When the lava delta collapsed, solid and molten fragments of lava and superheated steam exploded skyward, creating tremendous hazard for anyone who ignored the warning signs and entered the closed area on land or ventured too close to the lava delta by boat.

This map shows the coastline at the Kamokuna lava entry on Kīlauea Volcano, with labels denoting areas impacted by the large, progressive lava-delta collapse on December 31, 2016. Nearly all the Kamokuna lava delta collapsed into the sea, along with a large section of the older sea cliff east of the delta. The red line denotes the current (post-collapse) sea cliff; the land seaward of this line collapsed into the ocean. The blue line refers to the rope line that marks the boundary of the area closed by the National Park Service; a section of this rope line was taken out by the collapse on Saturday. These mapped lines, based on handheld GPS points captured on January 1, 2017, are preliminary and subject to change (HVO geologists are in the field again today). For up-to-date information about access to the new ocean entry viewing area, please consult the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and Hawaiʻi County websites.

New Coastal Lava Viewing Area Opens in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Park rangers opened a newly established lava viewing area at the Kamokuna ocean entry in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park today, following a two-day closure caused by a large lava delta collapse on New Year’s Eve.

New lava cascade at Kamokuna in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Monday, January 2. NPS Photo/J.Ferracane

The new viewing area is approximately 900 feet east of a cascade of lava pouring into the ocean, and about 60 feet inland of the coastal cliffs. Rangers, in conjunction with USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists, thoroughly assessed the area, and established the new viewing site with white rope lines and numerous signs that clearly mark hazardous closed areas.

Visitors are strongly urged to stay out of closed areas and heed all posted warning signs and park rangers.

Visitors who do not heed warnings not only endanger themselves but the lives of others, including our park rangers, who work tirelessly to ensure a safe visitor experience,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.

Visitors begin the five-mile hike to Kamokuna shortly after the park opened the lava viewing area on Tuesday, January 3. Today marks the 34th anniversary of the eruption of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent on Kīlauea, the source of the lava flows going into the ocean today. NPS Photo/Janice Wei

After the delta collapse on New Year’s Eve, a group of five visitors ignored rangers and warning signs and slipped beneath the white rope lines into a closed area at the coast. Two park rangers had to chase after them, and made them turn around – 15 minutes before the area they were standing on collapsed into the ocean.

In addition to the threat of another land collapse, the toxic plume of volcanic particles and acidic gas generated by lava mixed with ocean water is very dangerous, and irritates the lungs, skin and eyes. Land collapses, which trigger tsunami-like waves, and the toxic gas plume, are also a serious threat to aircraft and boats. There is currently a 1,000-foot above-ground-level temporary flight restriction at Kamokuna.

HVO scientists estimate that nearly all of the 26-acre lava delta is now gone, along with more than four acres of older coastal cliff area, which included the former lava viewing site. The collapse on New Year’s Eve started in the afternoon and lasted several hours, creating blasts of volcanic rock and a series of damaging waves, in addition to a thick, dark plume of debris and gas.

It is closer from the east entrance to reach the new lava viewing area within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. From the east, or Kalapana/County of Hawai‘i side, visitors must hike about 4.2 miles one way along the gravel emergency access road. This entrance is open daily from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. From the park, or west side, visitors can hike out from the Coastal Ranger Station at the end of Chain of Craters Road, about five miles one-way. About one mile of the hike goes inland of the gas plume over hardened, uneven lava flows. The park entrance is open 24 hours a day.

Hikers need to be prepared for a long trek. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes or boots, gloves to protect the hands, and long pants to protect against lava rock abrasions.  Carry plenty of water (three to four quart/liters per person). Wear sunblock, sunglasses and a hat. Visitors who plan to stay after dark need a flashlight and/or headlight with extra batteries.

For hiking tips, visit the park website https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/upload/Hiking-Tips.pdf. For County of Hawai‘i Lava Viewing information, call (808) 430-1966. For the latest eruption updates, visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php. Monitor air quality at http://www.hawaiiso2network.com/.

Coast Guard Suspends Search for 3 People Aboard Possible Downed Aircraft Off Molokai

The Coast Guard suspended the active search Sunday at sunset for a possible downed aircraft with three people aboard near Ilio Point, Molokai.

The search continues for a possible downed aircraft with three people aboard approximately 17 miles northeast of Ilio Point, Molokai, Dec. 31, 2016. Crews from the USCGC Kittiwake (WPB-87316) from Honolulu, an HC-130 Hercules airplane and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point are searching the area. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

“Our most heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of Michael, Whitney and John,” said Lt. Nic Iannarone, Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center command duty officer. “Suspending a search is an incredibly difficult decision to make, especially during the holiday season. Our crews along with Maui County Fire Department and the National Parks Service have completely covered the search areas on ground and sea and have found no trace of the Cessna.”

Responders conducted a total of 29 searches covering 1,473 square miles over a span of three days.

Involved in the search were:

  • Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews and C-130 Hercules airplane crews from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point
  • Crews of USCGC Kittiwake (WPB-87316) and USCGC Galveston Island (WBP-1349) from Honolulu
  • Crews aboard Air and surface assets from Molokai Fire Department and Maui County Fire Department
  • National Parks Service personnel
At 7 p.m. Friday, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received a call from personnel at the Honolulu Control Facility stating a Cessna with three people aboard reportedly disappeared from radar while enroute from Molokai airport to Honolulu.