Celebrating this weekend at Waikiki Beach? Safety officials will be there too
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With spring break coinciding with Prince Kuhio day this year, public safety officials are preparing for large crowds at beaches across the state.
One beach in particular will have increased presence from the U.S. Coast Guard, police and the DLNR.
Ocean safety crews are stepping up patrols at Waikiki Beach to accommodate an anticipated large number of beach goers.
"Each year the influx of college students and tourists arriving to Waikiki Bay during Spring Break generates numerous on-water safety concerns. In previous years, large flotillas have emerged encouraging the consumption of alcohol while on the water and pose a significant risk to public safety," the Coast Guard said in a press release.
Last year, hundreds converged to the shoreline for a massive floatilla party. Authorities had to step in when things got out of hand.
Three people were arrested, many citations for liquor law violations were issued, and the costs for additional emergency response totaled $16,000.
City lawmakers have since pushed to ban such events.
"It's pretty ridiculous that we're spending so much resources for a public drinking binge party," councilwoman Kymberly Pine said in July.
To prevent a repeat, the Coast Guard's cutter, the Kittiwake, will join other state and city departments for the anticipated water safety issues.
Officials are reminding everyone that Hawaii law prohibits anyone from operating a vessel while intoxicated.
Penalties can include a fine of up to a $1,000, and 30 days in jail.
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