Hawaii Superferry will resume service
between Oahu and Kauai now that a security plan has been developed
to assure safe passage for the vessel and its passengers.
Under the plan,
Hawaii Superferry, which can accommodate 866 passengers and more
than 300 vehicles, will resume service from Oahu to Kauai on Sept.
26, albeit on a limited schedule.
In a statement,
Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle said that state and city government
officials, in cooperation with local law enforcement and the Coast
Guard, developed the plan to allow the Superferry to safely enter
and depart Kauai's Nawiliwili Harbor, where protestors confronted
the vessel last month.
establishes a designated security zone where protestors opposed to
the ferry operation are permitted to demonstrate.
Lingle said law
enforcement agencies would strictly enforce the zone.
A day after the
interisland ferry began operating on Aug. 26 between Oahu, Maui and
Kauai, it was confronted by swimmers and surfers who formed a
blockade to prevent the ferry's entry into Kauai's Nawiliwili
confrontation, Hawaii Superferry service was suspended until law
enforcement and the Coast Guard could develop security arrangements
to assure safe passage into the harbor.
Protestors want the
ferry to remain docked until the state completes a study to
determine if it will have a negative impact on the island's sea
officials contend that Hawaii Superferry has already satisfied
certain environmental regulations.
"We believe the
plan will protect public safety, recognize Hawaii Superferry's
legal right to operate, provide lawful opportunities for those who
want to protest and move to restore the state's reputation as a
place of mutual respect for those who have differing points of
view," Lingle said.
everyone's right to voice their opinion, but we will not allow a
small group of protestors to act out in a lawless manner to
obstruct the operations of a legitimate business, intimidate the
people who wish to use its services or put people's lives at
critical of the plan.
director of the Sierra Club's Hawaii chapter, told the Associated
Press, "It is highly inappropriate for Superferry to travel to
Nawiliwili before an environmental review is complete. Not only is
such a trip contrary to state law, it belies common sense. We study
and prepare for adverse impacts before they happen, not
Oahu-Maui service still suspended
legal wrangling over Hawaii Superferry's suspended Oahu-Maui
service continued in a Maui courtroom last week. On August 29,
Maui's Circuit Court ruled to continue a temporary restraining
order filed against the company by environmental groups.
During the week,
the court listened to arguments that ultimately will determine
whether it will lift the temporary restraining order to permit the
Hawaii Superferry to continue service while the state conducts an
environmental assessment, or whether the ferry will be prohibited
from operating in Maui until the study is completed.
At press time, the
court had not ruled on the temporary restraining order, which
remained in effect until Sept. 14.
controversy surrounding Hawaii Superferry gained steam on Aug. 23
when the state's Supreme Court ruled Hawaii's government should
have conducted an environmental-impact study before permitting the
ferry to operate.
Court's ruling overturned a lower court's decision in July 2005
permitting the service, which was challenged then by environmental
The court's ruling
has been criticized by state government officials who contend the
environmental study is extraordinary since other modes of
transportation, such as airlines and cruise ships, are typically
not required to undergo such evaluations in order to launch new
contact reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to [email protected].