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State orders moratorium on kayaks at Kealakekua Bay

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The state will temporarily ban kayaks, surfboards and other watercraft in waters around Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park while it devises rules to protect the heavily used area, the Department of Land and Natural Resources announced Wednesday.

The moratorium will take effect Jan. 2. The department did not say how long it will last.

The area is where a 15-year-old boy from White Plains, N.Y., was swept to his death July 4 while on an outdoor adventure tour.

During the moratorium, people will not be allowed to operate, launch, transit, beach or land kayaks and other vessels from Napoopoo, within the waters of Kealakekua Bay, and at Kaawaloa Flats, DLNR said.

Also prohibited in the closed area will be other floatation devices and watercraft such as stand-up paddle boards, surfboards and bodyboards. Swimming and snorkeling are allowed in the bay, but no landing anywhere or entry at Kaawaloa will be permitted.

Tyler Madoff of White Plains, N.Y., was on a tour with Hawaii Pack and Paddle on July 4 when waves swept him and a 15-year-old Miami boy from a tide pool area out to sea. Guides rescued the Miami teen but Madoff’s body was never found.

The state revoked the company’s permit in September.

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