Announcement from DLNR-DOBOR

Aloha Ocean Charter Operators,
 
Another announcement from DLNR-DOBOR today, see attached below.
 
According to the first release, effective immediately all commercial tour operators can "exceed" their USCG-COI by 50%. Obviously this would cause major issues with the USCG if you "exceed" your COI. This was a mistake by DLNR and the release was later corrected to say "not to exceed" 50% of your vessels COI for vessels over ten passengers.
 
This language would suggest a ten passenger vessel can operate at full capacity and a twelve passenger vessel can only operate with six passengers. I had a phone conversation this morning with Ed Underwood, head of DOBOR, and ask for clarification on this release. Mr. Underwood stated that no vessel should operate at greater than 50% of the vessels USCG-COI while maintaining social distancing and any vessel can carry up to ten passengers plus crew as long the vessel is not exceeding its normal passenger rating while maintaining social distancing.
 
Example, a six-pack can carry six passengers plus crew, a sixteen passenger vessel can carry ten passengers plus crew, and a twenty two passenger vessel can carry eleven passengers plus crew. Additionally all vessels must maintain proper social distancing with all passengers and crew.
 
Thanks to all the individuals that have put in time and work to help protect the boating industry. Let's keep going forward. For all commercial operators on Hawai'i Island we are having a meeting to discuss DOBOR,COVID and the commercial boating industry tomorrow evening at 5pm at Jack's Diving Locker fuel dock pavilion in Honokohau. All are welcome to attend.
 
 
I hope everyone has stayed healthy and secure.
 
Thank You
 
Justin P. Smith
Owner
Pacific Boats & Yachts

DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES

DAVID Y. IGE
GOVERNOR

SUZANNE D. CASE
CHAIRPERSON

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2020

COVID-19 RULES FOR COMMERCIAL & RECREATIONAL BOATS RELAXED

(Honolulu) – The State of Hawai῾i, through the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), with the concurrence of the Counties of Hawai‘i, Maui, Kauai, and of the City and County of Honolulu, is lifting certain COVID-19 emergency restrictions imposed on larger commercial and recreational boating, and on ocean recreation.

DOBOR Administrator Ed Underwood said, “This change in rules is effective immediately and allows commercial and recreational boats, with a rated U.S. Coast Guard capacity of more than ten, to exceed their rated capacity by no more than 50 percent, provided they operating under the Boating and Ocean Recreation COVID-19 guidelines, linked below.

These “Act With Care” phase guidelines are based on Dept. of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, as well as input from boaters in Hawai‘i and in coordination with the counties. The protocols cover physical distancing, hygiene protocols, staffing, and cleaning and disinfecting.

All crews and passengers are covered by these rules and they apply to all commercial and recreational boats in all four counties.
# # #

Guidelines Attached
Web Link: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/covid-19-dobor-response/


Media Contact:
Dan Dennison
Senior Communications Manager
(808) 587-0396
Dlnr.comms@hawaii.gov