State to organizers of ‘floatilla’ planned for Oahu: Cancel or face arrest

State to organizers of ‘floatilla’ planned for Oahu: Cancel or face arrest
In past year, so-called "floatillas" off Oahu have drawn big crowds ... and big problems.

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state is warning the organizers of a “floatilla” event planned for an East Oahu beach to cancel and promised to “stringently” enforce emergency orders that ban large gatherings.

The state said several hundred people RSVP’d for the Fourth of July event being publicized on social media.

A “floatilla” is a gathering of people on floaties in the water. In previous years, hundreds have come out to similar events in the islands, drinking alcohol offshore and sometimes requiring rescue.

“This floatilla event, being promoted on social media, is very concerning because it invites people to gather in a large group,” said Jason Redulla, chief of the state Conservation and Resources Enforcement division.

“We’re imploring anyone who has expressed their intention to attend this event to step back and consider their personal responsibility to their friends, their family and most especially, their kupuna.”

Those who violate the state’s emergency order face up to one year behind bars and a $5,000 fine.

Officials said in addition to being illegal, the event is irresponsible given the spike in new COVID-19 cases on Oahu.

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