The boater involved in a collision that killed a diver in Kailua last month was cited by the state shortly after the incident.
But the citation does not address whether the boater is responsible for the man’s death.
Boaters, divers, and swimmers are concerned that the investigation is not moving forward.
On Jan. 9, Sri Shim, 59, and his stepson Trey Albrecht, 25, were diving off their kayak about 600 feet offshore when they were struck by a boat. Emergency crews found Shim’s body and the Honolulu Medical Examiner determined that he died from injuries from a boat propeller. The family tells us Albrecht is still recovering from his injuries.
Nearly one month later, the only new information that’s been released is that the man operating the boat was cited.
“Where’s the investigation at? What are they doing? What’s happened to the boat operator, if anything?” asked boater Ed Enos.
Enos says people in the community are getting worried that the whole case will just go away without anything being done about it.
“Not to lay blame, but what happened? What are the lessons learned and most of all, how do we stop this from happening again?” Enos said. “It’s a heavily used boat ramp. It’s a heavily used beach, as is Lanikai, so the whole community, not just here, but all of Kailua, are wondering well what happened to the guy? What is the state doing, if anything?”
KHON2 asked the state Department of Land and Natural Resources for an interview. A spokeswoman told us no one was available Friday, but sent a statement saying the investigation is ongoing so she can’t tell us anything about it.
We also wanted to find out more about the citation that was issued to the boat operator, Sai Hansen, 41.
The law requiring a boater safety course started in November 2014. A spokeswoman tells us 11,500 boaters have passed the course, out of about 15,000 boaters.
Anyone caught without the certificate can be fined up to $1,000 and get up to 30 days in jail. There were six citations issued last year.
Longtime boater Earl Omoto says more boaters would take the course if it was more user-friendly.
“For older people, because of the test format it’s in and it’s on a computer, they may have problems. It’ll take you five to six hours to get through this course,” he said.
Shim’s family members tell KHON2 they are waiting for the results of the investigation and declined further comment until then.