Coast Guard conducts overflight, prepares for return of Hōkūleʻa to Oahu

Crewmembers on an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, Oahu, conduct a fly over of the Hōkūleʻa, a Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe, Hikianalia and other voyaging canoes, June 16, 2017. The Hōkūleʻa will return home to Oahu, June 17 after being gone for 36 months, sailing approximately 40,000 nautical miles around the world. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle/Released)

Crewmembers on an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, Oahu, conduct a fly over of the Hōkūleʻa, a Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe, Hikianalia and other voyaging canoes, June 16, 2017. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle)

HONOLULU — A MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point conducted an overflight of the voyaging canoes Hōkūleʻa, Hikianalia and other vessels en route to Oahu from Molokai, Friday morning.

“We recognize the incredible outpouring of public interest and support surrounding the homecoming of the Hōkūleʻa,” said Capt. Michael Long, commander Coast Guard Sector Honolulu and Captain of the Port. “Along with DOCARE we want to ensure that this is a safe, enjoyable and memorable time with our primary focus being on the safety of all waterway users and responders while we honor the cultural significance of this event.”

Saturday residents and visitors to Oahu will welcome Hōkūleʻa home from their 3 year worldwide voyage. The canoes will sail from a mooring to Waikiki and then up the Ala Wai Canal to Magic Island. Hōkūleʻa and the Hikianalia are expected to moor at Magic Island by 9 a.m., with an official welcome ceremony to follow at 10 a.m.

The State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), the City and County of Honolulu Emergency Services Department Division of Ocean Safety, the Honolulu Fire Department, Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Coast Guard are teaming up to provide on-water safety and security for the homecoming.

  • For its transit to Waikiki, water safety assets will be enforcing a 500-yard safety perimeter around Hokule’a. Vessels and canoes may be allowed to operate within the 500-yard safety perimeter with the permission of the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, coordinated through the on-scene patrol commander, but will be required to remain a minimum of 100 feet from Hōkūleʻa. All crossing traffic will be prohibited on Hōkūleʻa’s final approach to the Ala Wai Canal.
  • The Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor boat ramp will be closed Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Only vessels returning to their berth in the Ala Wai boat harbor will be allowed up the Ala Wai channel adjacent to Magic Island. All motorized traffic will be asked to turn around and stay out of the canal as the canoes and Hōkūleʻa transit up the Ala Wai to their mooring. This is for safety in an area of limited space and restricted maneuverability.
  • Following the Hōkūleʻa’s mooring, all motor vessels wishing to transit the Ala Wai will require an escort coordinated through DOCARE.
  • Operators of all watercraft (motorized and non-motorized) are reminded to keep a sharp lookout for other traffic and waterway users. They are also reminded not to boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol and to comply with all state and federal regulations regarding life jackets and other safety equipment.

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