Test project by the state keeping stand up paddlers and swimmers - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Test project by the state keeping stand up paddlers and swimmers quiet on the southern front

Ed Underwood Ed Underwood
Matt Inouye Matt Inouye

By Ramsay Wharton

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)  Seven white buoys off Ala Moana beach park.  The test project by the state seems to be keeping stand up paddlers and swimmers quiet on the southern front.

"Ever since we put the buoys in we've not had any calls it's really settled down," says Ed Underwood, the administrator division of boating & ocean recreation.

And that's because swimmers are now asked to stay shore side, paddlers toward the reef.  Swimmers have the right of way...and leashes on boards are a good thing.

Matt Inouye's paddle core fitness group is permitted to use the area nearby and he spreads the word to his group and others.

"I mean sometimes the wind can get strong out here and you'll see people fall off their boards and they can be the best swimmers but that wind will just take the board down the beach and they'll never be able to catch it," says Inouye.

Some people still swim on the wrong side of the buoy.  Those who do know...choose to swim at their own risk.  But with no complaints so far...state officials are giving each group until next may for feedback on the divider.

"It's working and we just want to make sure that it is working, give it another six months and we'll probably make this permanent, says Underwood.  And if that happens...the dividing lanes could serve as a model for use in other busy water ways...with officials emphasizing personal responsibility over government rule making...so everyone can have fun."

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