Grounded Vessel at Kohanaiki to be Removed By Salvage Firm – Operator Cited

Salvage operations are expected to begin this week to remove a 39’ Coast-Guard documented powerboat “Hoku Kea,” which ran aground Friday evening off Kohanaiki beach, west Hawaii. 
Hawaii County closed Kohanaiki Beach Park pending removal of the boat and hazmat. Fuel leaked from the boat onto the immediate area of the beach, and debris from the boat was also found in the area.
Kohanaiki Beach Park

Kohanaiki Beach Park

The “Hoku Kea” is owned by Hoku Boats LLC. The owner had pollution insurance which hired PENCO to remove 400 gallons of diesel, a few quarts of oil and seven batteries on Sunday morning. They have also signed a contract with Cates International which will be on site tomorrow morning to begin the salvage removal process.   
The vessel owner was cited by DLNR for operating a vessel without a valid boating safety certificate required by state boating rules.
Swimmers and surfers are being asked to stay out of the water until authorities can clean up the fuel spill and remove the boat and debris from the area. 

Malama O’oma Day

ooma day

Kona Man Charged for Assaulting Tour Boat Captain While Tour in Progress

A Kona man has been charged with assault in connection with a confrontation on a commercial dive boat.

In response to a 12:04 p.m. call Tuesday (March 11), officers learned that an unknown man had reportedly boarded a boat in waters off Kohanaiki Beach Park while a dive tour was in progress. He reportedly argued with the 54-year-old male captain, punched him and then jumped off the boat.

Cheyenne James Gaspar

Cheyenne James Gaspar

Police investigation led to the the identity of a suspect, 39-year-old Cheyenne James Gaspar of Kailua-Kona, who turned himself in at the Kona police station Thursday (March 13). He was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and then released from custody after posting $1,000 bail.

Parks Department to Issue Kohanaiki Beach Park Camping Permits

Starting Monday, January 6, the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation will begin issuing permits to camp at Kohanaiki Beach Park, also known as “Pine Trees,” located north of Kailua-Kona.

Kohanaiki Beach Park. Photo Courtesy County of Hawaii Parks & Recreation

Kohanaiki Beach Park. Photo Courtesy County of Hawaii Parks & Recreation

People seeking camping permits must apply in person during normal business hours at the Department’s administrative offices located at 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 6 in Hilo and in Building B of the West Hawai‘i Civic Center, 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Highway in Kailua-Kona. A separate announcement will be issued when permits are made available through the Internet.

Camping fees for Hawai‘i County’s 10 other campgrounds will apply to Kohanaiki Beach Park. Nightly camping fees for Hawai‘i residents are $5 for adults, $2 for junior campers 13 to 17 years old, and $1 for children 12 and younger. The nonresident rate is $20 per night, regardless of age. A valid Hawai‘i driver’s license or state-issued identification is required to verify Hawai‘i residency. First and last names of all campers are required for a camping permit to be issued. also imposes a nonrefundable $1 per-night processing fee for each adult and junior camper. provides the software program for issuing camping permits and collects the processing fee.

Kohanaiki Beach Park features accommodations for up to 80 campers nightly, ocean access, and both permanent and portable restroom facilities. Operating hours are 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Kohanaiki Beach Park is closed to campers each Tuesday and Wednesday.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or


Kona’s Kohanaiki Beach Park Dedicated

A public blessing, dedication and opening ceremony for the new Kohanaiki Beach Park in Kona was held today at the park’s halau.
Kohanaiki Hale
Situated along 1.5 miles of coastline, Kohanaiki is one of North Kona’s most popular surfing, diving and camping areas. The park’s completion represents years of collaboration between lineal descendants of the area, community groups, the County of Hawai‘i, and Kohanaiki Shores. Ongoing responsibilities for the park will be shared between Kohanaiki Shores, the County and the community.
“This grassroots effort by the community is an excellent example of collaboration between the public, a landowner, and county government. It will ensure that Kohanaiki remains the special place that we have cherished for generations,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “Mahalo to everyone in the Kona community who worked so hard to make the opening of this shoreline park possible.”
The park includes bathrooms and outdoor showers, designated camping areas, a halau for cultural practices, improved and additional parking, and improved roadways to and along the shoreline and within the park. Portable toilets, which have been in use while new facilities were being developed, will also remain in place.
“The Kohanaiki Shoreline Park is the result of years of collaboration and negotiation; it represents a willingness on the part of all stakeholders to share in the stewardship of this very special place,” said Hawai‘i County Council member Karen Eoff, who represents District 8. “A Good Faith Agreement, forged in 2003, establishes Kohanaiki as the first County park on Hawai‘i Island where management and maintenance will be a shared responsibility between landowners, County and community.” Councilwoman Eoff has been involved with the project in various capacities since its inception.
Following the dedication, the park will be open daily and available for camping five days a week for up to 80 campers a night. Park hours for day use will be from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Camping administration will eventually transition to the Department of Parks & Recreation, but is currently handled by Kohanaiki Shores. Camping permits are issued at the beach on a first come, first served basis. For more information and for reservations, call 329-6200.
Kohanaiki Park Beach

Kohanaiki Park Beach

“The new park at Kohanaiki is a great addition to our growing West Hawai‘i community,” said Parks & Recreation Director Clayton Honma. “The new facilities make this a safe place for our families to spend time together, and make it possible for more members of our community to enjoy this treasure.”
In addition to improved vehicular access, park goers can use an already established pedestrian trail, which runs the length of the shoreline and is part of the longer Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail. Beyond the paved turnaround, the trail will be used to access the halau and the southern boundary of Kohanaiki.
“It’s been a journey of diplomacy, compromise, and collaboration,” said Rebecca Villegas, president of Kohanaiki ‘Ohana, an active member of the community partnership that worked toward establishment of the shoreline park. “We’ve created a model for future coastline developments, bridging the gap between government, developers, and community interests.”
A preservation and cultural plan, guided by the lineal descendants of Kohanaiki, is in place to guide the conservation of historic and cultural sites at the park, as well as ongoing cultural practices at the halau.

Public Invited to Blessing and Dedication of Kohanaiki Beach Park

Kohanaiki Invite