For Sunday, July 11, 2010
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 11, 2010
The Coast Guard has grounded Hawaii Duck Tours pending the conclusion of an investigation into a flash fire that caused second-degree burns to an employee.
Firefighters said a gasoline explosion on a boat at the company's Kakaako headquarters Tuesday morning sent a man to a hospital.
The vessel, one of the company's two World War II-era amphibious craft, is scheduled for a follow-up inspection Friday to determine the cause of the accident, said Coast Guard Cmdr. Jason Neubauer, chief of prevention for Coast Guard Sector Honolulu.
When the company will be allowed to resume operations depends on the outcome of the investigation, Neubauer said.
He said a possible vapor hazard is a concern because the boats use unleaded gasoline, which may have been a factor in the flash fire on Tuesday.
Hawaii Duck Tours has two "duck boats," the distinctive yellow amphibious craft that can travel on land and sea. The duck boats are more than 60 years old, Neubauer said.
The company did not return a call for comment yesterday.
The plum harvest season at Kokee State Park on Kauai is open, with officials saying this year's crop is only average.
Permits to pick plums there are available at the park headquarters. There is no fee, but forms need to be completed and dropped in the box after harvesting.
The season began yesterday and will run through Aug. 11. Harvest times are between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. in designated areas. Each person will be allowed to take up to 5 pounds of plums per day for personal consumption. Other conditions are specified on the permit.
For more information, call the State Parks Office in Lihue at 274-3445.
Maui County Mayor Charmaine Tavares has filed nomination papers for re-election.
"Dealing with the difficult economic reality while simultaneously keeping our county fiscally safe and our community needs met has been challenging to say the least—but my administration rose to the challenge," she said in a news release Friday.
Tavares has been Maui mayor since 2006. She was a county councilwoman from 1997 to 2006, and before that served as county parks director.