Skip to Content

‘It made me sick’: witness accuses boater of endangering dolphin pod off Kaua’i

Click here for updates on this story

    KAUA’I, Hawaii (KITV) — While hiking on Saturday morning, Kapa’a resident Nancy Andrade said a picturesque view of Polihale State Park quickly turned to horror after she saw a boater doing doughnuts around a pod of dolphins.

“It made me sick,” Andrade said. “I was just afraid that since the boat was so close to the dolphins in that pod that the rutters on the boat would just shred them if they got too close to it.”

Andrada said she hikes the area every few months and this was not the first time she has seen boaters misbehave.

Several, she claimed, drive directly towards dolphins. Once, Andrade said she saw a boat leaking oil near a pod.

“That kind of worried me because I know they come up through that oil spill or whatever and get it on their skin,” Andrade added.

Thinking quickly, Andrade snapped photos of the incident, and her grandson posted them on social media to get the word out.

“They’re probably thinking that it’s fun for them and a lot of people saying from the comments that we’ve been reading that the dolphins were having fun with it, but you don’t actually know what’s happening underneath the water,” Andrade’s grandson, Tapa Andrade, said.

Tapa said he boats in Polihale waters about five times every summer, and each time, he has seen dolphins with cuts on them. He suspects those gashes are injuries from run-ins with unruly boaters.

“I usually see at least one about every time I go down there,” Tapa said.

“So you can kind of tell that they have been in accidents with boats before it’s kind of showing that it is happening, and it’s not something that hasn’t happened before.”

Melissa Price, an assistant professor at the University of Hawai’i specializing in wildlife management, said close encounters with humans often stress animals, making them too tired to reproduce.

Keeping a safe distance, Price said, could help preserve the dolphin population.

“Especially as we have tourists returning to the islands and we have increase pressure on our systems and things open up again, it’s really important that we reevaluate the pressure that we’re placing on our systems and we think about what we want to have around for the long term,” Price said.

“Unlike Disneyland, Hawai’i is a living system right, the animals, the plants, our trails, forests, they all need time to rest and recover.”

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) recommends keeping a 150-foot distance from dolphins.

Anyone with information on the incident can call the DLNR at 643-3567.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: Regional News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

CNN Newsource


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content