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Jet Ski Island to be pulled out

Updated: 
October 26, 2017 - 11:03am

KAILUA-KONA — Kailua Bay may look a little different in the coming days when Big Island Watersports pulls its platform, which was listing Tuesday amid foul weather.

In the coming days, the company plans to pull the platform, a pontoon-like watercraft left over from the 1994 filming of “Waterworld” in waters off the Big Island, said Sarah Rafferty, who handles sales and public relations for Big Island Watersports.

“We’re still in talks as of today. We’re hoping to get it out soon; we don’t want it out there any longer than it needs to be,” she said.

Swells on Wednesday were too rough for any operation to take place, she added.

The company is working on plans for continuing recreational operations it offered from the floating island, which is also referred to as “Jet Ski Island.” Currently, it is offering SNUBA — a hybrid of snorkeling and scuba diving — from shore via its storefront on Kailua Pier, she said.

Long term, the company is moving forward with plans already in the works to replace the aging vessel. It expects the platform to be custom-made and arrive sometime in 2018.

“We’re going to upgrade and get something new out there and get rolling full speed,” Rafferty said. “We’ve been thinking about upgrading for a while, so we’re just going to continue to get that plan in the works.”

U.S. Coast Guard crews on Tuesday noted the company’s floating island was listing in the bay following foul weather that lashed the Big Island. The Coast Guard confirmed there was no concern of pollution from the vessel or of it becoming unmoored and running aground.

The vessel has an existing and open Captain of the Port order, which is given in the event there is some safety deficiency or other hazard and provides the vessel owner a list of what the Captain of the Port would like to see to bring it up to standards. They are relatively common.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources said its divisions of Boating and Ocean Recreation, and Conservation and Resource Enforcement, reported Tuesday that some of the vessel’s pontoons may have filled with water and the island was floating a little lower than normal.

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