Waikiki Council member: Floatilla is an embarrassment
It's only been about two weeks since the Fourth of July flotilla but some city and state officials don't want a repeat, and they are doing what they can to make sure that doesn't happen.
HONOLULU - It's only been about two weeks since the Fourth of July flotilla but some city and state officials don't want a repeat, and they are doing what they can to make sure that doesn't happen.
The event has become a free-for- all floatie party, and the fear is the young people it attracts are just going to get drunk and drown.
The area city councilman is calling on the state to enact laws to crackdown on drinking on the water-- similar to what's in place to curb the Kaneohe Sand Bar boat parties on three-day weekends.
"I introduced this because hopefully we can save a life,” said Waikiki Councilman Trevor Ozawa.
Ozawa and the council worry there were too many close calls this Fourth, which put a strain on city and state resources.
"We had every boat and every jet ski that was operational out there," said DLNR Enforcement Chief Robert Farrell.
The city's ambulance crews were maxed out too.
"We do bring in additional staff to manage it, but the unfortunate thing for the EMS side is, we can't bring in additional ambulances," said Emergency Services Director Jim Howe.
It’s a tough event to try and enforce because there are no permits and no promoter. It’s also hard to prosecute cases in part, because of jurisdictional issues between the city and state.
The various departments have been meeting to see best how to beef up their tactics without infringing on permitted booze cruises where there are operators who can be held accountable.
Just trying to manage the floatilla has vexed both the city and state which has been racking up thousands of dollars in overtime.
Waikiki residents are calling for action asking that the city look at laws enacted in other places, whether its spring break in Florida…
"There were riots in Fort Lauderdale --Spring Break. It’s gotten out of control. It's taken a life of its own, and I think we need to step it up this next year," said Waikiki Resident David Moskowitz.
...or Floatillas in San Diego.
DLNR suggested rules going after bathers, rather than boaters --abusing alcohol.
"I think there's elements that may work here as well," said Farrell.
City and state officials estimate that between 500-1000
people took part in this month's Waikiki Floatilla and they don’t want to see it get bigger.
They have a whole year to get new strategy in place.