Reef destroyed by Navy twice with detonations

I have personally seen reef devastation created by Navy detonations twice.

In 1975, I captained a dive boat to Molokini. I arrived to find a bed of floating dead fish covering a large area inside the crater, with sharks feasting on the carnage.

On entering the water, I found a bomb crater in the sand channel 4 to 5 feet deep and 30, or more, feet in diameter. At 150 feet away, I found what used to be a large coral formation had collapsed and over 100 dead menpachi at the opening that used to be a cave to their home. Scattered as far as I could see in every direction were more dead fish of every species that lived in this area. Dead were on the bottom as a result of their swim bladder bursting under the concussion of the explosion. On the surface, I saw thousands of dead fish floating. I didn’t have a camera at that time, but the images are seared into my brain.

In 1984, the DLNR informed us Molokini was going to be closed on a specific date so the Navy could “remove” ordnance. The dive community went into action removing all known ordnance so there wouldn’t be anything to blow up. My crew and I removed two bombs using lift bags to tow them outside Molokini where we dropped them into deep water. The next day, the Navy came out and still found something they could blow up.

Please do not allow this to occur again.

Ed Robinson



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