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State investigating cruise ships anchored near Na Pali Coast

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is investigating whether a cruise ship, possibly two, recently anchored too closely to the Na Pali Coast on Kauai, following complaints.

Approximately a week ago, DLNR said, community members called in concerns about a large cruise ship anchored very close to the Na Pali Coast. The concerns over the ship said to be the Celebrity Edge, were also posted to social media, with video footage.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority today issued an email saying it is “engaging with government authorities and the cruise industry in the matter of two cruise ships that were much closer to Kauai’s north shore than allowed by state regulations.”

“Images of the ships have been circulating on social media, and vigilant kamaaina alerted the authorities to the issue,” said HTA in its email blast. “The Department of Land and Natural Resources, which governs Hawaii’s near-shore waters on behalf of the people of Hawaii, is investigating.”

HTA said it is also in contact with the cruise lines involved, as well as other cruise operators who visit Hawaii, to “underscore the importance of compliance with all state and local regulations in our islands.”

State laws governing Na Pali Coast ocean waters say “in no case shall a commercial vessel having a passenger carrying capacity of 50 or more passengers be permitted to operate within the Na Pali Coast ocean waters.”

Nor is a commercial operator allowed to embark or disembark passengers along the shoreline within Na Pali Coast ocean waters unless it has been issued a permit by the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

Anyone who believes a boat or ship is operating inappropriately can report it to 808-643-DLNR (3567).

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