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Old 12-03-2008, 02:31 PM
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Default Hawaii drops PWC related charges against Kanalu K38's Tom Pohaku Stone

This is a push in the right direction. Our collective goal at K38 is to assist along with the AWA solving PWC operator behavior related concerns, focusing on safety, education and enforcement, breaking down the stereotypes against PWC and fighting for the future of our community. It only works if you participate and stand alongside. Join the AWA if you are not a member already.

....I'm leaving this morning for Hawaii. We are having our International PWC Safety Summit. I'll be staying with Darrick Doerner and Tom has been collecting all our K38 International affiliates from the airport...we will have Spain, Italy, UK, Portugal, Poland, Japan and the US in attendance. Looking forward to the Ohana gathering...

Hawaii drops PWC-related charges against Tom Stone

Water Safety
State of Hawai'i drops charges against Tom Pohaku Stone

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 2 December, 2008 : - - Last week the State of Hawai'i dropped charges against Tom Pohaku Stone (Kanalu K38 and National Safe Boating Instructor) for entering the Kaunakakai Harbor in May 2008 to attend a public hearing using a Personal Watercraft as his mode of transportation to the island (jetski).

Hayden Aluli legal representative filed motions to dismiss based on Tom's ingress and egress rights, illegal enforcement tactics to issue the citations, as well as Tom's right to travel.

The rules and regulations governing use of PWCs or thrillcraft in Hawaii is very restrictive and needs to be changed. Most of the rules are really directed at tow-surfing and commercial uses, but PWCs are widely used throughout Hawaii and elsewhere in the world for more then just those activities. A PWC is actually a boat, a craft used for various ocean activities besides tow-surfing. Darrick Donner is awaiting his trial date on this matter and we expect all charges to be dropped also.

This us brings up the question - How is this going to impact PWC use in Hawaii? From my point of view the State should focus its efforts on near shore water use of this craft and commercial applications. As far as a ban on using these craft beyond a two mile limit is unenforceable and should be left to federal jurisdiction(USCG).

As for the assumed ban around Molokai and Lana'i that is questionable. Any supposed ban on the use of a PWC around any of these islands should be based community input from the entire community of Hawaii not just someone's dislike for the craft. As a native and resident of Hawaii if I want to visit these islands traveling by water I will.

The root of our problem regarding the use of a PWC in Hawaii stems from the lack of proper boating education and skill development. If you really believe that sit in a classroom is sufficient to allow a person to receive a certification to operate on of these craft you are mistaken. Our effort as an organization that has been trained and certified through recognized national guidelines to provide boating education inclusive of PWC use is what is required.

It does not matter if it is Kanalu K38 or whomever we should all be part of the accepted standards that promote boating safety. Without such process there will continue to be a lack of respect for other ocean users and community conflict. Practical (hands on) education policy is a must if we are to resolve this growing problem that is not unique to Hawaii only.
What is the resolve - proper practical education and not just a classroom certification because how do we know as instructors what the operational knowledge of the individual is when it comes to using a PWC?

It was this rush in 2001-3 to allow tow-surfing in Hawaii that has created this problem and today we are the ones to fix it by challenging the rules and regs, providing proper education and encouraging others to do the same using the accepted educational guidelines and methods for boating.

It is our responsibility to end the chaos and bad publicity we are receiving as PWC operators for individual egos by working with various agencies to move forward. If we do not promote change, sooner or later the State of Hawaii will be facing a major lawsuit if the responsible government agency continues to sanction the antiquated certification process that has been in place since 2003.

The State of Hawaii states that they can not be held liable but the responsible agency continues to promote the certification process on the State website. Now if that is not sanctioning then I don't know what is. All it takes is one lawsuit and we are all going to have a problem.

Change is coming led by myself, Darrick, Pake, Kanalu K38 and a host of others who have made surfing and ocean safety their life. The statements made here are my opinion based on my stand.

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Old 12-03-2008, 05:24 PM
pohaku pohaku is offline
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I would like to clarify - though this is not a true win (case never went to trial) for PWC users in Hawaii it does place a question mark on the rules that govern PWC within the waters of Hawaii. With the increase of PWCs for recreational use, mostly tow surfing, it is important to have rules/regs so there is not chaos. But, the rules/regs in place now need to be updated, modified to serve the needs of the users and community. Such rules/regs should be written and implemented based on facts and from input from those who know not just tow surfers, ocean safety, etc. It should come from those who have history across the board - shared through an educational process based on excepted national standards. The State of Hawaii tends to base much of its rules/regs regarding these crafts on individuals whom have had very little or no experience in using them recreationally or professionally and that is where the problems I believe stem from. Now this is brief and far from a complete statement, but it is my opinion, which people can agree or not agree with. The point is we need to do it right and certifying poeple because they sat through a class and received a certificate of completion is not the same as sit in through a class with material specifically related to how and what of boating or PWC, laws, rules, then take the next step and under supervision of nationally certified instructors apply the knowledge in a practical - hands on - to be evaluated and assited to develop those skills newly acquired or otherwise.
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kanalu k38, pwc, tom pohaku stone

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