Honolulu police investigating a March 25 fire that caused $100,000 worth of damage to a North Shore Shark Adventures boat on Oahu believe the blaze was set intentionally, according to a Honolulu Star Advertiser report.
Arson is now the suspected cause of three fires started on the company's boats in the less than three months. In January, two fires damaged North Shore Shark Adventures boats while they were docked at Haleiwa harbor. No one was aboard any of the damaged vessels.
Two shark tour companies operate on Oahu's north shore, North Shore Shark Adventures and Hawaii Shark Encounters, both of which have faced increased scrutiny in recent years due to a continuing debate involving the practice of feeding sharks and its impact on the animals’ behavior.
Charges were dropped Jan. 23 against five current and former shark tour employees accused of feeding sharks in state waters. The dismissals followed a refusal by federal officials to provide information concerning the device used to track the shark tour boats, according to the Star Advertiser.