Participants of "Floatilla" event leave behind big mess in Waikiki

Beachgoers frustrated with 'Floatilla' aftermath mess
Published: May. 31, 2016 at 1:31 AM HST|Updated: May. 31, 2016 at 5:15 PM HST
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(Image: Pohai McWhirter)
(Image: Pohai McWhirter)
Pohai McWhirter (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Pohai McWhirter (Image: Hawaii News Now)

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds of beachgoers had a day of fun in the sun at the so-called "Floatilla" event in Waikiki, but it wasn't a pleasant Memorial Day morning for a few good Samaritans who had to clean up the mess.

"It was just a lot of floats, alcohol bottles, coolers, shoes," said Pohai McWhirter.

McWhirter and some friends spent nearly two hours Monday morning picking up and throwing away all the trash.

They found nearly 200 floaties scattered throughout the beach near the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

"I don't feel it unifies it us at all, it's people leaving a mess and people cleaning it up," said McWhirter.

The Floatilla was an impromptu, word-of-mouth event, much different from the Fourth of July Floatilla off Kuhio Beach that's regulated by volunteers who make sure everyone packs their trash.

Environmentalist Kahi Pacarro is trying to preserve the reputation of the Independence Day floatilla. His group, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, even hauls out floating trash bins. Pacarro says he knew nothing about Sunday's event.

"Of course we're angered, who wouldn't be angered?" Pacarro said. "I don't think anyone can look at those photos and be like 'Wow that looks like a good time.'"

The organizers of Sunday's Floatilla Hawaii offered this statement: "We won't be throwing any more events if this is what's going to be happening. We thought we were prepared, but we obviously weren't. It's sad and heartbreaking. People just need to learn how to clean up after themselves."

Pacarro said, "What this represents is either an opportunity for these organizations to come forth and recognize the mistakes they've made and fix it and put forth some measures to improve or you know, they're going to get shut down," said Pacarro.

The annual Fourth of July Floatilla event is still scheduled to take place this year.

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