PWCs Not Allowed Past 2 Miles Offshore

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  1. #1
    PWCToday Guru SpearoPaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Exclamation PWCs Not Allowed Past 2 Miles Offshore

    Section 13-256-17 (b) in the State of Hawaii Administrative rules, Title 13, Subtitle 11, part 2 states that:
    In non-designated ocean recreation management areas, recreational thrillcraft may operate only in state waters between five hundred feet from the shoreline or the outer edge of the fringing reef whichever is greater and two miles off the islands of Kauai, Oahu, Maui and Hawaii.
    This is a regulation that is often not known, or overlooked/disregarded by those trolling or diving from their PWCs in Hawaii. I wanted to bring this to everybody's attention and point out something interesting.

    The DLNR's authority applies only within 3 nautical miles offshore from these islands. PWCs are not allowed between the 2 and 3 mile mark. This means there is a 1 mile stretch where the DLNR can cite you, and even impound your PWC. However, this means if you are more than 3 miles offshore, you cannot be cited nor do you have to comply with any of DLNR's requests/orders (to board, to inspect, to stop you, etc). Once you are 3 or miles offshore, you are in federal water where the Coast Guard has jurisdiction. The Coast Guard follows federal laws which do not disallow PWCs to be on these waters so you're good to go!

    Basically, if you're going blue-water fishing or diving, slow down as you approach the 2 mile mark, take a good look around for a DLNR patrol. If you see none, Pull up your lines, high tail it to the 3 mile mark and then you're good to go. Repeat for returning back to inshore waters.

    Fringing Reefs: ..."a kind of coral reef, that is located in the tropics generally immediately near the shoreline."
    A better explanation was given in the state-required PWC safety course I took where the instructor explained it as being "extremely shallow reef that waves break upon." Around the island of Oahu, these fringing reefs are typically found in depths of 2-5 feet. This would be the "reef crest" in this drawing:

    A photograph:

    Last edited by SpearoPaul; 01-14-2009 at 01:04 AM.

  2. #2
    Top Dog BigSwole's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Albany, GA

    Re: PWCs Not Allowed Past 2 Miles Offshore

    haha that sounds like fun...."you see em that either lets go"

    LIVE on HNB at 6:00...High speed jet ski chase ends with no jurisdiction and no citations. But...they gotta come back sometime!

    lol sounds like something that would be fun

  3. #3
    PWCToday Regular dean_the_machine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Orange County

    Re: PWCs Not Allowed Past 2 Miles Offshore

    Good to know. Thanks

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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