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Coast Guard Responds to Report of Flares Off Maui – Rescues Mariner

The Coast Guard rescued a mariner aboard a disabled 18-foot recreational vessel following a report of four red flares off Maui Thursday night.

Cadets and crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Eagle fire pencil flares off the fantail of the ship as part of a pyrotechnics training session Saturday, July 4, 2009. In recognition of the national holiday, everyone aboard also participated in the Square-Rigger Olympics, pyrotechnics training, and karaoke on the ship's waist later that night. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith)

Cadets and crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Eagle fire pencil flares off the fantail of the ship as part of a pyrotechnics training session Saturday, July 4, 2009. In recognition of the national holiday, everyone aboard also participated in the Square-Rigger Olympics, pyrotechnics training, and karaoke on the ship’s waist later that night. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith)

A Station Maui 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew located the mariner during a search 5 miles west of Kihei and towed the vessel back to Maui.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received a report of three red flares off Kihei around 9:23 p.m. A fourth flare was sighted by Maui Fire Department personnel from the shoreline shortly after.

The watchstanders launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point and the RBM crew from Maui to respond. The RBM crew sighted the mariner and confirmed he launched the flares before towing him back to Kihei.

“This mariner did everything right with his flares and the case illustrates the importance of having proper emergency gear aboard your vessel,” said Charles Turner, of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “In addition to required flares and flotation we recommend mariners have multiple forms of communication with them including a handheld VHF-FM radio, charged cellular devices and a properly registered personal locator beacon if possible. It’s State law to have a VHF radio on your boat if you’re more than a mile offshore. Communications can be a challenge around the islands and not all devices may have consistent coverage. It’s also a good idea to leave word with friends or family about your voyage and when you intend to return so they can alert responders if you are overdue.”

Flares should never be used as fireworks as they may prompt a Coast Guard search. If you are conducting flare training please contact the Coast Guard to advise them of the location and time of the training to deconflict any search and rescue calls. Flares are especially useful at night and burn red or white. Mariners who choose to further mark their location and signal with chemical lights are asked to use red colored lights as the typical yellow and green and very hard for rescue crews to detect with night vision goggles.

Video – Aerial Survey of Big Island Forests Shows Rapid Ohia Death Spread

Recent aerial surveys of 810,000 acres of Hawaii Island forests showed that a fungal infestation of ohia trees is much greater than earlier thought.

ohia deathUsing a helicopter and specialized survey equipment, surveyors from a collaboration of state, county and federal agencies flew over 81,000 acres, January 11 – 15, 2016.  Satellite imagery of ohia forests in 2014 resulted in an estimate of 15,000 acres infected by this newly identified disease. The latest survey, pending ground verification, estimates the infection has now spread to some 34,000 acres of the ohia forest on the Big Island.

Rapid Ohia Death Media Clips 12-23-15 from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

Philipp LaHaela Walter, the State Resource and Survey Forester for the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) said, “We used two surveyors at a time and flew a total of 8 ½ hours over state, federal and private lands covering about two-thirds of the Big Islands’s ohia forests. Our next steps are to cover the rest of the ohia forests with follow-up flights and to ground-truth the aerial operation. One of our priorities will be to double-check the Kohala area, where Rapid Ohia Death may have been detected for the first time by our aerial survey.”

A team of experts from DLNR/DOFAW, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, the Big Island Invasive Species Committee and the National Park Service/Hawaii Volcanoes National Park conducted the aerial survey. The University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service and the USDA Agricultural Research Service assisted with planning. In 2014 USDA researchers identified the pathogen that causes the disease.

Dr. Flint Hughes, with the USDA Forest Service commented, “Unfortunately Rapid Ohia Death is spreading much quicker than we had hoped.  The aerial surveyors noted ohia trees with no leaves or brown leaves, likely impacted by the disease; as well as ohia trees which have been dead for a longer time and those that have been affected by either drought or VOG. It’s important that we differentiate the causes of tree deaths and continue to carefully and closely monitor the spread of Rapid Ohia Death to aid in reducing its spread on Hawaii Island and around the state.”

Ohia forests cover approximately 865,000 acres of land across the state and are considered the primary species providing habitat for countless plants, animals and invertebrates. These forests  protect watersheds that provide significant agriculture and drinking water across the state.

“It’s sad but not unexpected that we have a confirmed case of Rapid Ohia Death in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We are very concerned about the impacts to our cherished ohia that thrives throughout the park, and we will continue to implement the stringent measures developed by our interagency partners to prevent the spread of this devastating disease. We will also continue to sample trees throughout the park,” Orlando said.

Dr. J.B. Friday, the extension forester with the UH College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources Cooperative Extension Service explained, “We know that the state Department of Agriculture’s moratorium on the transport and shipment of ohia plants and parts is having a positive effect on curbing the spread. It’s impossible to determine whether the ban on ohia shipping is 100% effective and that’s why we are trying to get the word out to all forest users, nurseries, and lei makers that Rapid Ohia Death is fast killing what is considered one of the most important forest trees in Hawaii.”

Research into treatments for the particular fungus that causes Rapid Ohia Death continues at the USDA Agricultural Research Service lab in Hilo. Investigation into how it spreads is also being conducted with potential culprits being: insects, underground via roots, on small wood or dust particles, on clothing and shoes, and possibly on animals. Ultimately scientists hope that by identifying what is spreading the fungus they’ll be able to mitigate its devastating impacts.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls on Governor David Ige to Declare Hawaiʻi Island Dengue Fever Outbreak a State of Emergency

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today called on Governor David Ige to declare the Hawaiʻi Island dengue fever outbreak a state of emergency and deploy State resources, including the National Guard, to assist with mosquito abatement, public information, clearing, and providing completely free testing for those with suspected symptoms of this incurable disease.

Congresswoman Gabbard met with Hawaii County Civil Defense officials last week.

Congresswoman Gabbard met with Hawaii County Civil Defense officials last week.

“The dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island continues to worsen.  We cannot afford to wait any longer for the aggressive action necessary to combat the spread of this serious disease.  An emergency proclamation from the Governor is long overdue,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who represents the people of Hawaiʻi Island.  “There have already been 242 confirmed cases of Dengue Fever on Hawaiʻi Island, creating a public health emergency affecting our residents and visitors, and Hawaii Island’s economy.  They deserve our state’s full attention and resources to do what it takes to put an end to this outbreak, and prevent it from becoming endemic and spreading to other parts of the island and state.”

On October 21, 2015 the Dengue exposure rate on Hawaiʻi Island was 1 in 185,079.  As of today, 1 out of every 849 residents and approximately 3 out of every 50,000 visitors has contracted dengue fever.  This constitutes an average infection rate of 67 residents and 7 visitors every month since this outbreak began.  Additionally, the same mosquito that carries Dengue Fever is also a carrier of the Zika virus, which is “spreading explosively” according to UN health officials, who are currently considering declaring an international health emergency.

In speaking with Governor Ige and by written correspondence, the congresswoman called for the following action items to be addressed immediately:

1. Completely free and accessible testingfor those who suspect they have symptoms of Dengue Fever. While the cost of the test may be free, residents and visitors are still charged for visits to a physician, nurse, or clinic in order for their blood to be drawn.  This could easily be solved by ensuring there are free access points island-wide, and by deploying state or National Guard medical personnel as a mobile testing unit that can travel to both populated and remote locations across the island, draw blood, and get samples to the lab for expedited results.

2. Allocate resources to the Department of Health for development and execution of a comprehensive public information and public engagement campaign with quality review measures.  Current “Fight the Bite” efforts fall far short of providing residents and visitors with the information they need.

3. Provide a full-time entomologist on Hawaiʻi Islanddedicated to eradication, reduction, and prevention of further spread of the Dengue virus.

4. Allocate resources to hire vector control personnel,purchase more sprayers and other necessary equipment and supplies.

5. Provide free supply and distribution of Ovitraps throughout the community to empower local residents to help prevent the spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. World Health Organization report studies have shown that population densities can be reduced below disease-transmission thresholds with sufficiently large numbers of frequently serviced traps.

6. Appoint a Dengue Czarwho can act as the coordinator of efforts with all parties within the state, county, federal, private sector, and community to ensure the objectives are being met.

More than a third of the world’s population live in areas at risk for infection from the Dengue virus, which is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. As many as 400 million people are infected annually.  Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been meeting with state leaders, Hawaiʻi County officials and Civil Defense, military personnel, experts in the private sector and at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and listening to concerned citizens of the Big Island, working to protect the people of Hawaiʻi from Dengue Fever, a debilitating disease that has no vaccine, treatment, or cure, so that the Aloha State does not remain a part of this worldwide epidemic.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 242

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 242:

Mosquito Bite

As of January 29, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 1 new case of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 2 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
2 Illness onset 1/20/16 to 1/21/16
Cases no longer infectious
240 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/18/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
242

Of the confirmed cases, 218 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
197 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 1/21/16.

As of today, a total of 1018 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Four Kona Parks to Close Temporarily January 29 to Conduct Dengue Mosquito Treatments

The Department of Parks and Recreation will temporarily close four Kona parks on Friday, January 29, so those facilities can be treated for mosquitoes that have the potential to spread dengue fever.

Mosquito BiteWhile there is no indication that any of these parks are sources of possible infection, this measure is being employed as a proactive and preventative strategy for reducing mosquito concentrations and thereby lowering the risk of potential exposure.

The following parks are slated for treatments expected to start, weather permitting, at approximately 7 a.m. Friday, January 29:

  • Kailua Playground, also known as “The Ghetto”
  • Kipapa Park located on the mauka side of Ali‘i Drive, across from La‘aloa Bay Beach Park
  • Harold H. Higashihara Park
  • Arthur C. Greenwell Park, including Sgt. Rodney J. Yano Memorial Hall

Unauthorized persons will not be allowed to enter the affected parks until the treatment work is completed and the parks are cleared for public use. Signs will be posted at each park informing the public of the closures, spraying activity, and when the parks are reopened.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks park patrons and the general public for their understanding while it assists in the efforts to control the spread of dengue fever.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

 

 

Updated Map Shows New Risk Areas for Potential Dengue Infection on the Big Island of Hawaii – Kona Now High Risk

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

An updated map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases has been released:

This map should not be used to exclude any areas of the island from proactive mosquito control measures. All residents islandwide are encouraged to Fight The Bite by reducing mosquito breeding grounds and protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 241

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 4 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 241:

Mosquito Bite

As of January 27, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 4 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 5 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
5 Illness onset 1/17/16 to 1/21/16
Cases no longer infectious
236 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/16/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
241

Of the confirmed cases, 217 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
196 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 1/21/16.

As of today, a total of 1008 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Scientist Sequence Genome of the ‘Alalā (Hawaiian Crow)

In collaboration with PacBio, scientists at San Diego Zoo Global and the University of Hawaii, Hilo have fully sequenced the genome of the ‘Alalā, or Hawaiian crow and shared the results of this effort at the recent annual Plant and Animal Genomics XXIV Conference in San Diego. The ‘Alalā was once reduced to a population of about 20 birds, and the sequencing of the species’ genome will be important to track any genetic challenges that may occur due to the reduced genetic diversity now seen in the species.

The sequencing of its genome comes at the beginning of what is hoped to be an important year for the Hawaiian crow. Conservationists hope to reintroduce this species into prepared habitat on the island of Hawaii later this year. The ‘Alalā has been extinct in the wild since 2002, preserved only in the program run by San Diego Zoo Global at their bird centers in Hawaii.

“We have been working for many years to build up a large enough—and genetically diverse enough—population to allow us to begin putting the ‘Alalā back in the wild,” said Bryce Masuda, conservation program manager of the San Diego Zoo’s Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Program. “We have achieved our goal, and are now preparing to release birds into the wild in 2016.”

The program’s goal has been to increase the ‘Alalā flock to 75 or more individuals before releasing them into their native forests on the island of Hawaii. The ‘Alalā is a member of the crow family that was brought to the brink of extinction by loss of habitat, and introduced predators and diseases. For species that have been at the brink of extinction, genetic fitness and the information stored in their genome may prove an important tool in the fight to save them.

“Learning more about the genome of the species can help us understand more about how that species will interact with and fit back into its native habitat,” said Jolene Sutton, assistant professor at the University of Hawaii, Hilo. “Through scientific collaboration with PacBio, we now have a map of ‘Alalā DNA that could prove critical to their long term recovery. We are absolutely thrilled with the quality of the sequencing, and we have already identified several gene locations that we think could have a big influence on reintroduction success.”

Updated Map Pinpoints Confirmed Cases of Dengue Fever on the Big Island of Hawaii

Below is a map that depicts case locations as of 1/26/2016:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This map will be updated Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with location data provided by the State Department of Health. Locations may represent multiple cases. For the most up to date case counts and other information from the Department of Health, visit their website at health.hawaii.gov.

Surveying and spraying is being conducted at the residences of all suspect and confirmed cases, in addition to proactive spraying at nearby public facilities.

This map should not be used to exclude any areas of the island from proactive mosquito control measures. All residents islandwide are encouraged to Fight The Bite by reducing mosquito breeding grounds and protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

Lyman Museum Lecture – Why Early Hawaiians Moved to Mainland

Even before Kamehameha I founded his kingdom, Native Hawaiians were traveling to distant ports and visiting far-off lands. Kanaka labor is credited with helping to settle the northwest coast of North America, from fur trading to gold mining, and Hawaiians also participated in the U.S. Civil War. But what would be sufficiently attractive to draw them away from paradise … and why would some choose to make their new homes permanent?

Hawaii in CaliforniaOn Monday, February 8, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Lyman Museum, Hawai‘i Island historian Boyd D. Bond shares this little-known aspect of Hawaiian history.

The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum showcases the natural and cultural history of Hawai`i. Located in historic downtown Hilo at 276 Haili Street, the Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Admission to this program is free to Museum members, $3 for nonmembers. First come, first seated. For additional information, call (808) 935-5021 or visit www.lymanmuseum.org.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 237

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 4 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 237:

Mosquito Bite

As of January 25, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 4 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 3 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
3 Illness onset 1/16/16 to 1/17/16
Cases no longer infectious
234 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/13/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
237

Of the confirmed cases, 214 are Hawaii Island residents and 23 are visitors.
193 cases have been adults; 44 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 1/17/16.

As of today, a total of 985 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Hawaii Drought Monitor – El Nino Continues

The National Weather Service is projecting a 90% chance that the current El Nino will continue through the winter and an 80% chance of El Nino continuing through Spring 2016.

Click to view

Click to view

El Nino events are often accompanied by significant lower than normal rainfall during the winter months.  Although reservoir levels are currently high, a prolonged dry spell can quickly bring the levels down.  Therefore, the Department of Agriculture strongly suggests that all irrigation system customers review your plans for plantings this winter and next spring, keeping in mind that irrigation water service may be affected by the projected effects of the El Nino should conservation measures be implemented.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Glenn Okamoto, Infrastructure Manager at (808) 973-9436 or Randy Teruya, Agricultural Asset Manager at (808) 973-9478.

HONOKAIA RESERVOIR:

CURRENT WATER LEVEL as of:  1/22/2016:  8.0 feet (1.0 MG)

PAAUILO RESERVOIR:

CURRENT WATER LEVEL as of:  1/22/2016:  21.0 feet (10.0 MG)

County and state water purveyors issue drought notices and information statements to alert citizens on drought conditions affecting them. These notices may ask customers to conserve water or inform them of water restrictions.

County of Kauai

County of Kauai Department of Water

City & County of Honolulu

Hawaii Department of Agriculture

Waimanalo Irrigation System: no restrictions

County of Maui

Maui Department of Water Supply

Upper Kula Water Change Due to Drought Conditions, September 5, 2013

Upcountry Water Report

Hawaii Department of Agriculture

Molokai Irrigation System: 10% mandatory non-homestead water conservation

County of Hawaii

Hawaii Department of Water Supply

Drought Information Update

Water Conservation and Restriction Notices Page

Hawaii Department of Agriculture

Lower Hamakua Irrigation System: no resctrictions

Waimea Irrigation System: Mandatory 10% Conservation

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 233

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 3 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 233:

Mosquito Bite

As of January 22, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 3 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 3 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
3 Illness onset 1/12/16 to 1/17/16
Cases no longer infectious
230 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/11/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
233

Of the confirmed cases, 211 are Hawaii Island residents and 22 are visitors.
190 cases have been adults; 43 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 1/17/16.

As of today, a total of 977 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 230

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 6 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 230:

Mosquito Bite

As of January 21, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 6 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 3 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
3 Illness onset 1/11/16 to 1/16/16
Cases no longer infectious
227 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/8/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
230

Of the confirmed cases, 208 are Hawaii Island residents and 22 are visitors.
188 cases have been adults; 42 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 1/16/16.

As of today, a total of 962 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

dengue risk 12116

Scattered Lava Breakouts and Clear Views of Pu’u O’o Crater

Scattered breakouts remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with the farthest active lava yesterday at 5.9 km (3.7 miles) distance from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Click images to enlarge

Click images to enlarge

Much of the activity is at or near the forest boundary, creating numerous areas of burning. This view looks southwest, with Puʻu ʻŌʻō visible in the upper left portion of the image.

A closer view of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, just above the center point of the photograph.

hvo159View is towards the southwest. In the foreground, the circular lava pond that was active in July 2014 is visible. The lava tube feeding the active flows on the June 27th lava flow is evident by the line of white fume sources extending off the right side of the photograph.

Viewing conditions into Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater were exceptional today, providing clear views of the crater floor.

hvo160

This view is towards the northwest. The inner, deeper crater formed in mid-2014 following the opening of the June 27th vent, and occasional small flows on the crater floor are evident by their dark color. The smaller, circular pit in the west portion of the crater has contained a small, active lava pond in recent months. Very little of the original cone, formed in the early part of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption in the mid-1980s, remains visible on the surface. The tan colored area in the foreground, and the brown sections of the crater rim in the upper part of the photograph, are the original portions of the cone and consist of cinder and scoria.

This photograph was taken from the western pit at Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and shows the small lava pond (roughly 20 m in diameter) contained within the pit.

This photograph was taken from the western pit at Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and shows the small lava pond (roughly 20 m in diameter) contained within the pit.

Incandescence was visible in the small pit that formed recently on the upper northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

hvo162

Colorful sulfur deposits have formed recently around one of the cracks on the floor of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater.

hvo163

A view of the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater, with the small circular pit that contains the active lava pond.

hvo164

HVO’s cameras are on the rim at the right side of the photograph.

hvo165A hornito has recently formed over the lava tube on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, at the spot of the breakout that occurred on November 25.

An HVO geologist collects spatter deposited around the base of the hornito for geochemical analysis.

An HVO geologist collects spatter deposited around the base of the hornito for geochemical analysis.

 

Decision to End Search for Marines “Extremely Difficult”

The Coast Guard will suspend the active search at sunset Tuesday for the 12 Marine aviators of Marine Corps Helicopter Squadron 463 off the North Shore of Oahu.

marine search

“A decision to suspend searching without finding survivors is extremely difficult given the depth of its impact and I know I speak for the entire Coast Guard when I say our thoughts and prayers are with Marine Corps helicopter squadron and particularly with families and loved ones of those missing,” said Capt. Jim Jenkins, chief of staff and acting commander, Coast Guard 14th District. “I want to thank all our partners, the Navy, Army, the National Guard, the Hawaii Fire, Police and Ocean Safety for their extraordinary professionalism. I am proud of my Coast Guard crews and most of all thank you to the Marines for your leadership and partnership during this case. I emphasize that as we suspend the search, we pass the baton to the Marine Corps for any follow on actions. We stand ready to support any future maritime operations, and we will continue to provide any comfort we can for those suffering from this terrible loss.”

As of sunset Tuesday, the Coast Guard and military partners will have conducted a cumulative search effort of 40,530 sq. nautical miles, plus the extensive shoreline effort by the Honolulu Fire and Police Departments with Ocean Safety Lifeguard Service. More than 130 individual searches were conducted over five days, a continuous sustained search effort of 115 hours.

Involved in the search were:

Aircraft:
Surface assets:
Shoreline:
MH-65 Dolphin helicopter & HC-130 Hercules airplane with multiple crews
Navy P-3 Orion airplane with multiple crews
Navy H-60 helicopter with multiple crews
Army H-60 helicopter with multiple crews
Honolulu Fire Department helicopter with multiple crews
Honolulu Police Department helicopter with multiple crews
USS Gridley
USS John Paul Johns
USS Paul Hamilton
USNS safeguard-class ship Military Sealift Command
Mobile Diving & Salvage Unit 1 with ROV
Coast Guard Cutter Kiska & Coast Guard Cutter Ahi
Ocean Safety jet ski teams with multiple crews
Honolulu Fire Department rescue boat
Marines comprising shoreline search teams
Incident Command Post team Honolulu
Incident Command Post team Haleiwa
Coast Guard MSST 91107 & Regional Dive Locker Pacific
Coast Guard Sector Honolulu
Hawaii Army National Guard  & Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources

Coast Guard watchstanders in Honolulu received notification of two possible downed military helicopters off the coast of Oahu’s Waimea Bay, each reportedly with six personnel aboard, late Thursday evening prompting the joint search effort. The aircraft were CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters with Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.

The Marine Corps has the lead role for any salvage and the ongoing investigation into the cause of the incident.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 224

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 224:
Mosquito Bite

As of January 19, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 1 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 0 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
0
Cases no longer infectious
224 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/8/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
224

Of the confirmed cases, 202 are Hawaii Island residents and 22 are visitors.
182 cases have been adults; 42 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 1/8/16.

As of today, a total of 924 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Smoking Costs the Average Hawaii Smoker $2,186,781 Over a Lifetime

With Tobacco-Free Awareness Week reminding us of the societal and economic costs of smoking, which total more than $320 billion a year and rising, the personal finance website WalletHub today released its report on The True Cost of Smoking by State.

smoking and money

To encourage the more than 66 million tobacco users in the U.S. to kick the dangerous habit, WalletHub’s analysts calculated the potential monetary losses — including the cumulative cost of a cigarette pack per day over several decades, health care expenditures, income losses and other costs — brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.

The Financial Cost of Smoking in Hawaii (1=Lowest, 25=Avg.):

  • Out-of-Pocket Cost per Smoker – $164,538 (Rank: 49th)
  • Financial Opportunity Cost per Smoker – $1,555,886 (Rank: 49th)
  • Health-Care Cost per Smoker – $175,171 (Rank: 35th)
  • Income Loss per Smoker – $278,260 (Rank: 46th)
  • Other Costs per Smoker – $12,927 (Rank: 41st)
  • Total Cost Over a Lifetime per Smoker: $2,186,781

For the full report, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/the-financial-cost-of-smoking-by-state/9520/

Life Rafts Found From Missing Marine Helicopters

Search efforts continue Monday for 12 Marine aviators off the North Shore of Oahu.

Coast Guardsmen and a Navy sailor scan the shoreline outside the Haleiwa Incident Command Post in Haleiwa, Hawaii, Jan. 18, 2016. Service members from multiple branches of the military as well as many state and local agencies in Hawaii are searching for 12 Marines who went missing after being involved in a helicopter crash off the the North Shore of Hawaii. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read/Released)

Coast Guardsmen and a Navy sailor scan the shoreline outside the Haleiwa Incident Command Post in Haleiwa, Hawaii, Jan. 18, 2016. Service members from multiple branches of the military as well as many state and local agencies in Hawaii are searching for 12 Marines who went missing after being involved in a helicopter crash off the the North Shore of Hawaii. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read/Released)

Air, surface and shoreline assets are actively searching for the survivors and cataloging debris. Of the four life rafts confirmed to be aboard the two aircraft all have been sighted and three have been recovered. Two assets are working to recover the fourth today, sighted Sunday evening north of  Kahuku by a good Samaritan. There is no indication from the sightings that any survivors have been aboard any of the life rafts.

Over Sunday night a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, the Navy warship and the Coast Guard Cutter Kiska searched. On scene today are:

Aircraft: Surface:  Shoreline:
MH-65 Dolphin helicopter
Navy P-3 Orion
Honolulu Fire Department helicopter
Honolulu Police Department helicopter
(1) Navy warships
USNS Salvor, safeguard-class salvage ship,
supporting Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1
Coast Guard Cutters Kiska and Ahi
(2) Ocean Safety jet ski teams
(65) Marines comprising shoreline search teams
Incident Command Post team Honolulu
Incident Command Post team Haleiwa
Hawaii Army National Guard

As of 8 a.m. Monday responders have conducted 89 searches comprising 21,000 sq. nautical miles (24,150 sq. miles) of search effort. The searches are layered on top of each other to provide multiple perspectives and fresh eyes on scene.

The USNS Salvor, a safeguard-class salvage ship from the Military Sealift Command, arrived on scene late Sunday from Pearl Harbor to support the Navy Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1’s efforts to conduct an underwater search of the last know position of the aircraft off Haleiwa with sonar and a remotely operated vehicle. MDSU-1 conducted searches Sunday but did not sight any debris. Anything located in this search can assist search and rescue planners with their analysis of factors and conditions, allowing them to narrow down the search area and maximize the odds of locating the missing Marines.

“Today our country celebrates Martin Luther King. Jr. who once said ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others.’  As we enter the fourth day of around the clock operations I would submit the men and women responding to this search effort are truly answering Dr. King’s question,” said Lt. Scott Carr, Coast Guard 14th District public affairs officer.  “Our focus is to locate these Marines and know with absolute certainty we’ve thoroughly canvassed every location we might find them.”

Weather conditions Monday are reportedly 11 mph winds, with seas up to 2 feet and swells of 8 feet. A high surf warning issued by the National Weather Service remains in effect for the North Shore of Oahu.

The public is reminded to use caution along the north and west shores of Oahu as the search continues. Debris should be treated as hazardous material and reported to the Marines at 808-257-8458 or 808-257-3023.

The cause of the accident is under investigation by the Marine Corps.

For questions specific to the Marine Corps please contact the III Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs officer at 808-216-7183.

Coast Guard Continues Search for 12 – Marine Members Identified

As the search for 12 Marine aviators off the North Shore of Oahu enters its second day the Coast Guard and partner agencies have expanded the search along the North Shore from Waianae to Kahuku, extending out to sea eight miles.

As of 6 a.m. Jan. 16, 2016, graphic of combined searches conducted by surface assets (ships, boats and jet ski teams) involved in joint search efforts to locate and rescue 12 Marine aviators involved in an aircraft accident off Oahu's North Shore late night Jan. 14, 2016. Coast Guard search and rescue planners use a variety of systems to plan and coordinate searches. (U.S. Coast Guard graphic by Coast Guard Command Center Honolulu/Released)

As of 6 a.m. Jan. 16, 2016, graphic of combined searches conducted by surface assets (ships, boats and jet ski teams) involved in joint search efforts to locate and rescue 12 Marine aviators involved in an aircraft accident off Oahu’s North Shore late night Jan. 14, 2016. Coast Guard search and rescue planners use a variety of systems to plan and coordinate searches. (U.S. Coast Guard graphic by Coast Guard Command Center Honolulu/Released)

“We’d like to reiterate to the public to use caution along the north and west shores of Oahu as the search continues. Debris should be treated as hazardous material,” said Lt. Scott Carr, Coast Guard 14th District public affairs officer. “Anyone sighting debris is asked to report it to the Marines at 808-257-8458 or 808-257-3023.”

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew taxis for takeoff at Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, Jan. 16, 2016. The Dolphin crew is participating in the second day of search efforts to locate and rescue 12 Marine aviators involved in an aircraft accident off Oahu's North Shore late night Jan. 14, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew taxis for takeoff at Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, Jan. 16, 2016. The Dolphin crew is participating in the second day of search efforts to locate and rescue 12 Marine aviators involved in an aircraft accident off Oahu’s North Shore late night Jan. 14, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

As of 8 a.m. Saturday morning responders have conducted 22 individual searches covering more than 5,000 sq. nautical miles (5,750 sq. miles). Responders continued the search throughout the night and on scene today are:

Aircraft: Surface assets: Shoreline:
-MH-65 Dolphin helicopter
-Navy P-3 Orion
-Navy H-60 helicopter
-Army H-60 helicopter
-Honolulu Fire Department helicopter
-Honolulu Police Department helicopter
-(2) Navy warships
-Coast Guard Cutters Ahi and Kiska
-(2) Ocean Safety jet ski teams
-(7) 10-person shoreline search teams
-Incident Command Post team Honolulu
-Incident Command Post team Haleiwa
-MSST Honolulu personnel in Haleiwa
Harbor alerting mariners to safety zone
and public safety concerns

Coast Guard watchstanders in Honolulu received notification of two possible downed military helicopters each reportedly with six personnel aboard late Thursday evening prompting the joint search effort.

Weather conditions are reportedly 8 to 12 mph winds, 13 foot swells with surf up to 20-feet and scattered showers. A high surf advisory for Oahu’s North Shore remains in effect through Saturday evening. A small craft advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service and is in effect for all of the Main Hawaiian Islands through Sunday morning.

The cause of the accident is under investigation by the Marine Corps.

The missing Marines have been identified as:

  • Maj. Shawn M. Campbell, 41, College Station, Texas.
  • Capt. Brian T. Kennedy, 31, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Capt. Kevin T. Roche, 30, St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Capt. Steven R. Torbert, 29, Florence, Alabama.
  • Sgt. Dillon J. Semolina, 24,Chaska, Minnesota.
  • Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller, 25, Gardners, Pennsylvania.
  • Sgt. Jeffrey A. Sempler, 22, Woodruff, South Carolina.
  • Sgt. William J. Turner, 25, Florala, Alabama.
  • Cpl. Matthew R. Drown, 23, Spring, Texas.
  • Cpl. Thomas J. Jardas, 22, Fort Myers, Florida.
  • Cpl. Christopher J. Orlando, 23, Hingham, Massachusetts.
  • Lance Cpl. Ty L. Hart, 21, Aumsville, Oregon.