Coast Guard Voices Safety Concerns About Super Ferry

HONOLULU — Working closely with State of Hawaii officials, representatives of the Superferry and Kauai County authorities, the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Honolulu, voiced safety concerns about the inter-island passenger ferry’s planned operations from Honolulu to Kauai today.

Hawaii state officials temporarily suspended Superferry’s operations in to and out of Nawiliwilii Harbor on Kauai based on recommendations and safety concerns from Capt. Vince Atkins, U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Honolulu.

“Based on our current assessment of the situation in Nawiliwili, we made a recommendation to the state that it would not have been a safe transit into the harbor,” said Atkins of Tuesday afternoon’s state decision to cancel the Superferry’s trip to Nawiliwili.

“The U.S. Coast Guard is committed to safety and security and enforces all applicable laws in the maritime environment. In this instance, the risk level was too high for the vessel, its passengers and for the protestors.”

The U.S. Coast Guard will continue to work with state officials and law enforcement agencies on the safest course of action for the Superferry’s inter-island transits. Atkins urged protestors to be mindful of their safety and their obligation to obey the law.

“These surfers, swimmers, and other protestors in the water place themselves and the ferry in danger when they disregard the law,” said Atkins. “Coast Guard use of force requires the minimum force necessary to compel compliance along a continuum of force. We have used the minimum force necessary to ensure safety to this point. Safety and security is a shared responsibility, and I don’t want anyone to underestimate the risks they undertake when they challenge the law.”

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One Comment

  1. Yamashiro Ohana says:

    If these protestors were terrorist would the Coast Gaurd act so weakly. Just as airports have tight security, so should our harbors. I don’t feel very secure knowing the Coast Gaurd, and Police can’t do anything to stop this and protect this vessel. I hope these violators are fined and taught a lesson.