UPDATE: As of 3:30 p.m., After further review, the ruling in the water has changed. The object has been identified as a mooring buoy that had apparently broken loose. The beach has since been reopened.
Honolulu – Officers from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), along with staff from the DLNR Division of State Parks, closed the Kua Bay section of Kekaha Kai (Kona Coast) State Park today after an unidentified object was found in the water.
State Parks Administrator Dan Quinn said, “High winter surf brings a lot of surfers to this park and we feel it is best to close the park and not allow surfers and others into the water, for their own safety, until we can identify this object.”
A U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) expert is planning to gather photographs of the object this afternoon in an effort to determine exactly what it is. A representative from the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) will accompany the EOD expert. The Navy is working closely with DLNR to assess the item and appropriate response actions.
The object is approximately two feet in diameter and is estimated to weigh 150 pounds. There has been a history of unexploded ordnance found in the waters of this region. This one resembles the kind of tethered mines anchored just below the surface in shipping lanes in World War II.
As soon as the object is positively identified and removed if necessary, staff from the DLNR Division of State Parks will determine when Kua Bay can be reopened.