Boat owner accuses state of lack of enforcement at Keehi - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Boat owner accuses state of lack of enforcement at Keehi

Boat owner Alan McConnell Boat owner Alan McConnell
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

When it wasn't at sea, Alan McConnell docked his sailboat at Keehi Small Boat Harbor in the 900 dock at slip 25.

"It stretched from that part in the pier, all the way back to the end of the pier," he said, pointing to the now empty space.

McConnell invested tens of thousands of dollars in the 50-foot Gulfstar ketch.

"I spent a year getting the boat back into good sound shape. I re-did the kitchen, bathroom, everything," he said.

In December, he accidentally grounded the vessel on a reef in the channel outside the harbor. He said before it could be salvaged, he spotted thieves aboard.

"They cut holes in the top of the deck in order to get generators, an anchor, an anchor line," he said.

McConnel said he called the Department of Land and Natural Resources to urge them to get to the boat before the thieves got away.

"I expected a boat to show up out there while I was there," he said. "Nobody showed up. There were two people on board my boat at the time."

Back on land, he said he asked a DLNR officer for help while he confronted those he suspected of ripping him off.

"I found some of my tools aboard one boat, and others on the dock itself. And I turned around to wave at the officer, and he had driven off," he said.

McConnell said thieves illegally live aboard vessels not licensed for the harbor.

"There's several boats out here that are not supposed to be," he said.

He calls the squatters "pirates." When their boats are confiscated, they find another one and move back.

Chip Wheeler has also been a victim.

"I've lost a dinghy here. I had it tied up at the dinghy dock, and when I came back here a few days later, it was gone," he said.

"Everything I owned was on that boat, my tools, my electronics, my personal papers, my clothing," McConnell said.

He believes the crime could have been stopped if DLNR's enforcement division intervened.

"They allowed it to happen. That's what angers me. They allowed it to happen," he said.

McConnell estimates his financial loss from the grounding and theft at $70,000.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources said it's investigating McConnell's theft complaint and his lack of enforcement allegations.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved

  • Hawaii News Now headlinesNewsMore>>

  • Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons

    Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons

    Thursday, February 22 2018 12:24 AM EST2018-02-22 05:24:41 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 12:06 PM EST2018-02-22 17:06:06 GMT
    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster). President Donald Trump, looks to Julia Cordover, the student body president at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., as she speaks during the listening session with high school students, teachers, and others...(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster). President Donald Trump, looks to Julia Cordover, the student body president at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., as she speaks during the listening session with high school students, teachers, and others...

    Students and parents appealed to President Donald Trump to set politics aside and protect America's school children from the scourge of gun violence.

    More >>

    Students and parents appealed to President Donald Trump to set politics aside and protect America's school children from the scourge of gun violence.

    More >>
  • breaking

    Officer-involved shooting prompts heavy police presence in Puna

    Officer-involved shooting prompts heavy police presence in Puna

    Thursday, February 22 2018 12:03 PM EST2018-02-22 17:03:59 GMT

    An investigation is underway after a Big Island police officer was shot late Wednesday in Hawaiian Beaches.

    More >>

    An investigation is underway after a Big Island police officer was shot late Wednesday in Hawaiian Beaches.

    More >>
  • Flood advisory posted for parts of Maui; rest of state will also see heavy rains

    Flood advisory posted for parts of Maui; rest of state will also see heavy rains

    Thursday, February 22 2018 11:03 AM EST2018-02-22 16:03:03 GMT

    Moisture from the south is moving up toward the Hawaiian Islands and is expected to bring wet weather to the rain-soaked state later this week.

    More >>

    Moisture from the south is moving up toward the Hawaiian Islands and is expected to bring wet weather to the rain-soaked state later this week.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly