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    This single-vehicle crash slowed traffic in the Ewa-bound lanes of the H-1 viaduct Wednesday afternoon.

Crashes and stalls snarl midday traffic

Motorists heading from Honolulu to West Oahu Wednesday afternoon found the going slower than usual as several traffic accidents occurred and vehicles stalled on freeways within a two-hour period, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Traffic was also heavier than a usual Wednesday afternoon because it was New Year’s Eve, officials said.

Four motor vehicle accidents occurred westbound on the H-1 and Moanalua freeways between 12:16 p.m. and 1:01 p.m. Wednesday, including a pickup truck that ended on its side on the H-1 viaduct near Honolulu Airport, authorities said.

Transportation Department spokesman Derek Inoshita said the department did have a single right lane on the H-1 westbound between Waimalu and Waipahu closed for viaduct widening, but reopened the right lane at 1:15 p.m. to reduce traffic.

Engine trouble hobbles boat

A boat experienced problems with its motor and began taking on water off Maui’s Maalaea Harbor.

County authorities said the boat was escorted back to the harbor without incident after the Coast Guard provided assistance removing the water.

The Mahana Naia was located about a mile offshore and had been on its way back to the harbor following a snorkeling trip. The incident was reported at 11:44 a.m. Wednesday.

No injuries were reported.

Kayak’s owner may be missing

Coast Guard crews are searching for a kayaker who might be missing about a mile offshore from Camp Olowalu on Maui.

The Coast Guard said it received notification at 8:19 a.m. Wednesday of an overturned, adrift kayak. The kayak is green with the words "Ocean Kayak" in yellow and "Scrambler XT" in white on the sides.

There are no missing persons or distress reports in the area, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard said in a press release that all watercraft and equipment should be registered and labeled with contact information.

Through the Operation Paddle Smart program, the Coast Guard offers a free "If Found" decal to be placed conspicuously on small, human-powered watercraft.

Anyone with information that might help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 842-2600.

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