LIHUE, Hawaii -- Hotel officials and residents here have made it
clear: There will be no parasailing on Kauai.
The state of Hawaii's Kauai Boating Division killed a proposal
to hold public hearings on the matter.
Following two public meetings in which residents and hotel
associations voiced strong disapproval of the sport in Kauai
waters, Kauai Boating Division district manager Vaughan Tyndzik
decided against giving the issue any further consideration.
Any operator would first have to get state approval in order to
get a permit to operate.
The sport, in which a customer is held aloft by a type of
parachute pulled by a boat on open ocean, is allowed in waters off
Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. But Kauai won't have it.
"Tourists want the activity on Kauai, but hotels don't want to
see parasailing in front of their properties. They think it will
ruin the scenery," said Jeremy Hillstrom of Kapaa, who was
petitioning the state for a parasailing operation on Kauai.
The Poipu Beach Resort Association, on the south side of Kauai,
is against the idea of parasailing on environmental grounds, said
executive director Margy Parker.
"This area is filled with endangered species -- Hawaiian monk
seals, green sea turtles, and reef fish -- and everyone here
thought that parasailing would be disruptive to the marine life,"
said Parker. "It's not that we are opposed to parasailing as a
Parker's comments came just days before a very rare and
endangered Hawaiian monk seal was born on Poipu Beach. There are
only 10 to 12 of the seals known to exist on Kauai and just 33 that
inhabit waters around the six main Hawaiian islands.