House Bill 1486 HD1 will now crossover to the Hawaii State Senate for consideration.
“House Bill 1486 HD1 requires small boat harbor vessel permittees to escort and accompany their passengers during their visit ashore by an affiliated crewmember equipped to render emergency care. Furthermore, HB 1486 HD1 will address and remedy the unauthorized commercial use of Hulopoe Beach Park on Lanai by Maui tour boat operators,” Rep. Mele Carroll said.
Rep. Carroll further stated, “Time and time again we have received reports and complaints of private tour companies from Maui dropping numerous tourists unescorted and unattended to fend for themselves. Tour company’s permits usually require these operators to stay with their customers until the end of their tour to ensure the health and wellbeing of their passengers.
These commercial permits generate the necessary revenues to improve and maintain these public facilities to ensure their sustainability. Currently, unsupervised tourists have presented issues such as overcrowding, over accumulated refuse, overuse of showers and toilet facilities, and have exacerbated the situation for those who live nearby and rely on the only public beach with shower, toilet and picnic table facilities.
In addition, emergency situations are made unnecessarily complex and dangerous as many of these patrons are without identification or any type of communication with the private charter companies. House Bill 1486 HD 1 sets provisions for the use of quasi-public areas by patrons of tour companies and requires that such companies accompany their customers while they are ashore and that they conduct business in a satisfactory and mutually beneficial manner that will adhere to the best interests of all involved.”
Contributed by Representative Mele Carrol