I read with interest the June 18 article on the new purposed boating safety regulation.
I attended the Department of Land and Natural Resources-sponsored meeting on May 31 here on Maui where boaters could give testimony regarding this rule. There was no one from DLNR there to answer questions. This fact alone is very telling about DLNR. Either officials don't care enough to answer our questions or they think the rule is a done deal, so why waste time?
There is the third option: They are tired of getting pummeled by irate boaters so decided not to attend.
According to the DLNR news release dated May 26, which was available at the Maui public hearing: "Fifteen states had boating education requirements in place for 10-19 years and their fatality rate was 5.52 per 100,000 vessels." However, it also stated, "Hawaii has a relatively low annual fatality count (since 1995 there has been an average of 2.88 fatalities per year)."
DLNR's own statistics indicate that Hawaii boaters are safer than the 15 states that currently have safety training. This begs the question: Why does DLNR think Hawaii boaters need training? I don't know the answer, but I do know that, whatever the reason, this regulation is not good for Hawaii boaters.