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Security zones will make sea off-limits

The Coast Guard cites ocean areas to be closed for the APEC summit

By Rob Shikina

LAST UPDATED: 7:37 p.m. HST, Oct 20, 2011

Swimmers, surfers and boaters will be banned from some parts of the ocean during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit next month, according to preliminary security plans released Thursday by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Tom Swenarton found out Thursday that under the preliminary plans his boat will be locked in at F Dock at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor.

"That's totally horrible," he said. "I need to take my boat out whenever I need to take it out. I'm a free person."

Swenarton uses his boat to catch fish that he sells, and says he might lose money because of the closure.


» To review or comment on the security zones, visit and look up docket USCG-2011-0800.

The Coast Guard identified four security zones off the south and west sides of Oahu and opened a 10-day public comment period, ending Oct. 17. Officials will use the comments to review the security plans before issuing a final version of the security zones about two weeks before the APEC meeting, said Coast Guard Lt. Gene Maestas.

The four water zones where movement will be restricted are in Ko Olina and Waikiki.

The Ko Olina offshore zone is a rectangle along the shoreline extending 1,500 yards into the ocean and will be enforced from late Nov. 12 to late Nov. 13. The zone does not include the entrance of Barbers Point Harbor Channel or the four lagoons adjacent to Ko Olina Resort.

The western Waikiki zone will be enforced from late Nov. 9 to late Nov. 16. It includes the waters in a rectangle along the shoreline fronting the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Fort DeRussy. Swimmers and surfers will not be allowed into the water in that area, the Coast Guard said. The lagoon next to the Hilton Hawaiian Village is not part of the security zone.

The eastern Waikiki zone runs along the Sheraton Waikiki and the Outrigger Waikiki shoreline. It will be in effect on Nov. 12.

The fourth zone, the Ala Wai Harbor and Canal zone, stretches up the Ala Wai Canal to about 15 yards beyond the McCully Street bridge. It also comprises the inner basin at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor, including the Harbor working docks, the Front Row along Holomoana Avenue, the loading dock, G Dock, F Dock, the 400 Row, the south face of X Dock and D Dock.

Maestas said the Coast Guard has been going boat to boat over the past month and visiting businesses to inform them of the impact of the security zones.

"We don't want this to disrupt boaters' daily routines," he said. "Most of those people understand there might be a disruption getting in and out of the harbor, but they certainly understand it's for a good reason."

Boaters in the proposed security zone at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor will be allowed onto their vessels after passing through a screening process, but they will not be able to sail in or out the harbor, Maestas said. He didn't disclose further details of the screening process for security reasons. Those who don't have a slip or mooring in the harbor likely won't be allowed in, he said.

Some people at the harbor said they heard people will only be allowed into the parking lot after being screened, but the Coast Guard said its security zone will be only over the water.

Patrick Farley, captain of the 44-foot sailboat Liaison, said he planned to deliver the boat from the 400 row to Mexico on a 30-day trip starting on Nov. 15. He said the crew was flying in, and it might cost them more money to house the crew for a couple of days before they can leave.

"It's an inconvenience," he said.

Melissa Easter, who owns the sailboat Dove, said she's leaving on an island tour and worries that if she has a problem, she might not be able to return to her home port.

"It's just not realistic to keep people out of the water," she said.

Hawaii News Now video: Boaters, divers not happy about APEC security rule

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