Boater allegedly drives over man snorkeling by Kailua Beach

October 3, 2018 - Comment

HONOLULU (KHON2) – The state's Department of Land and Natural Resources is investigating an accident where a snorkeler was hit by a boat. The incident happened around 5:30 p.m. Monday evening by the Kailua Beach boat ramp. A snorkeler was in distress. "I heard people out there screaming. Like, help, help help! All of a



HONOLULU (KHON2) – The state's Department of Land and Natural Resources is investigating an accident where a snorkeler was hit by a boat.

The incident happened around 5:30 p.m. Monday evening by the Kailua Beach boat ramp. A snorkeler was in distress.

"I heard people out there screaming. Like, help, help help! All of a sudden we seen people jumping out into the water and started swimming out," said J.D. Depont.  

Hearing the commotion, Michael Schmidt jumped to action. He took off for a point near the Kailua pier to get close to the distressed snorkeler, a boater, and a capsized boat. 
     
"When I got out there, I seen the owner of the boat had (the snorkeler) on his back, with a life jacket on his neck, and was dragging him into shore," explained Schmidt. 

Schmidt says the man was bleeding badly from a deep gash on his head. 

"He was coherent. But really scared, he thought he was going to drown out there. He made it. So we put him on the rocks, compressed his wounds," said Schmidt. 

He and others waited with the boater and the snorkeler for emergency responders to arrive. 

EMS says they transported a 64 year old man to the hospital in stable condition. The patient said a boat road over him while snorkeling out in the waters. 

Boaters are required to obey a "slow-no-wake" speed within 200 feet of any shoreline. 

Divers must display a dive flag… But snorkelers are not required to. 

DLNR says they're investigating what happened. 

In an email response, a spokesman writes

The vessel operator must keep a constant watch and do everything in his/her power to avoid an accident. This is taught in every boating safety course approved for the State of Hawaii.  
 
Swimmers and divers have an obligation to make themselves visible if at any time they are submerged out of sight. They are required to display a dive flag in all navigable waters of the State (refer to HAR 13-245-9, Divers flag).  
 
Both rules have been in place since 1994, and when they are observed in tandem, swimmers and divers are afforded some level of protection.  

The system is not perfect but DLNR is constantly analyzing different scenarios and events trying to improve its rules and address shortcomings.  

Ocean users must take every precaution to protect themselves and to reduce the potential for accidents.  
 

 

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