State doesn't follow through on threats to impound Lanikai boats

State doesn't follow through on threats to impound Lanikai boats
Boat owners got a temporary reprieve on Lanikai, but it's unclear how long it will last. (Image: Hawaii News Now)

LANIKAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The owners of boats and canoes stored on Lanikai Beach got a temporary reprieve Monday.

On Friday, the Department of Land and Natural Resources issued notices to about 80 owners that they planned to impound their vessels within 72 hours if they don't remove them. But as of Monday, none of the watercraft were seized.

It's unclear why no action was taken, but owner Leon Mosher said he's staying put.

"It's just disrespectful. Canoes brought us here, they're here. They're going to be here. They're not going to move," said Mosher.

The state said the notices were in response to complaints from residents and lawmakers. It said owners can get permits if they want to leave their boats on the beach.

"This has been ongoing for many, many years.  We've addressed this issue on Kailua Beach a number of times. This is the first time we're addressing it on Lanikai due to the number of complaints we've received," Meghan Statts, of the DLNR's Boating Division, said in a video news release issued last week.

One longtime waterman says the state tagged his canoe, even though it was being stored on his family's private property. He said the vegetation under his canoe is part of family's land.

"I was really bummed. They put an abandoned vehicle (notice) on top of a beautiful boat," said Gully Boy.

"Our boat is on private property. The other boats are on private property. Last I heard, they want us to put pins and stakes to show it's private property."

The state said it conducted a site survey before issuing the notices. It said all of the boats it tagged were on state land.

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