Authorities monitor booze at Floatilla party

Authorities monitor booze at Floatilla party

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds of people headed to a party in the waters off Waikiki on Independence Day. They headed to the celebration on boats, surfboards and colorful flotation devices. Some experienced Floatilla for the first time.

"My older sister, they went to it last year, and she told us it was pretty fun so we're just trying it out," said Kapolei resident Lawson Faria.

"I'm expecting it to be fun. I don't know, be with my friends, meet some people out there, just have a good time," said Hawaii Kai resident Kahala Schneider.

Police officers warned people about drinking booze on the beach, but it is legal to have alcohol on a vessel. State officials said flotation devices, however, fall in a gray area.

"If they're behaving in an aggressive manner to someone else, we'll step in on that. If they're not causing anybody any harm and they're not causing harm to themselves, we're kind of just observing at this point," explained William Aila Jr., chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Lifeguards and DLNR officers patrolled the water to keep the crowd under control. There have been problems with alcohol poisoning and sexual assault in the past.

"I think people just need to be safe when they go out there and know that the ocean is dangerous and you can't mess with it and drink to excessively out there," said Manoa resident Clara Schlieman.

"I think it's pretty guaranteed that people are going to do that stuff, but as long as you stay safe and stay by people who are doing the right thing, you should be fine," said North Shore resident Raven Newalu.

Boats from Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii collected trash from the party to help keep the ocean clean. The group's executive director welcomed the patrols, but believes additional rules are unnecessary.

"I think July 4th is a celebration of our independence and to restrict our rights seems a bit counterintuitive," said Kahi Pacarro.