HONOLULU (KHON) — Someone drove a vehicle into the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor in Kailua Kona for the second time in a month and police say a GPS might have led them there.
Ronald Jourden returned to the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday after serving as captain for Manta Ray Dives of Hawaii.
“When I was approaching to our slip, all of a sudden there was a cop and fire department and all the, you know, light was going off and start yelling at us, ‘There’s a car in the water!'” Jourden told Nexstar’s KHON.
It is the second time a vehicle has driven into the harbor recently – the first was on Saturday, April 29. Kailua Kona resident Christie Hutchinson saw that incident and could not believe it happened again.
“Almost disbelief, I guess. Then just thinking, ‘What is wrong with these people?’ In a way, but I guess they’re going to have to do something about that harbor and you know, it was almost validating for the first incident in a way because the first woman had indicated that it was a GPS issue.”
According to Hawaii police, the driver said a GPS led her to take the route that she did – which was into the water.
“Middle of the water,” Jourden said. “It’s nice slope and there’s boats in front of you, you’re like, ‘Why would people go in there,’ you know?”
“If the weather is bad, I can see how you can mistake the gradient, perhaps where it’s difficult to see where the water starts and the ramp ends in bad weather, maybe the reflection just doesn’t hit right,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson even tried to recreate the GPS route to pinpoint the issue.
“Seeing if we could get it to lead us down that ramp and we couldn’t figure out maybe what would’ve happened, where the GPS would lead you in or near around that ramp. But maybe there’s something that can be done there, seeing as it does seem to be GPS related,” she said.
While the harbor is a Department of Land and Natural Resources facility, officials said this most recent incident was not reported so they do not have specifics.
Officials added the ramp is surrounded on all sides by boats and there is no way most people would view it as anything other than a boat ramp.