Unexploded munitions dating back to WWII found off Lanai’s south shore

Unexploded munitions dating back to WWII found off Lanai’s south shore
The munitions were reported by two recreational divers. (Source: Department of Land and Natural Resources)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Department of Land and Natural resources conducted dive assessments off Lanai’s south shore after three suspected unexploded ordnances were reported.

DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources said the munitions were found by two recreational divers.

The divers said they spotted the unexploded ordnances about 300 yards offshore in water 74 to 94-feet deep.

A dive assessment was conducted by DAR on March 25, and officials confirmed that two of the objects were World War II munitions.

The dive team said the munitions were buried in sand and rock rubble and that a few corals and green algae were growing on and around it.

The two unexploded ordnances were roughly 2.6 to 3-feet long.

Officials said the third item was likely an empty metal pipe, but it was treated as an unexploded ordnance as a precaution. DAR said there is likely another unexploded ordnance in the same area, but they were unable to locate it.

Following DAR’s assessment, DLNR asked the U.S. Army director of Munitions and Chemical Matters to also conduct a risk assessment in order to help officials decide what to do with the munitions.

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said the department will update the public on their decision to either remove the munitions or leave them there.

For now, officials ask divers to avoid the area until further notice and to practice the 3Rs -- Recognize, Retreat, Report -- when they see any suspected unexploded ordinance in the water or on land.

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