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BLNR Fines Kohala Tours for Ramp Permit Violations

Posted June 9, 2017, 02:39 PM HST

Video of Lava Kai II tour, courtesy of Hawai‘i DLNR

The Board of Land and Natural Resources today assessed a fine of $15,000 for three violations by lava tour boat operator Shane Turpin (dba Kohala Tours) for conducting commercial activity from a state boating facility without a required commercial-use ramp permit (in violation of boating administrative rule, HAR 13-231-51).

The violations took place between Feb. 3 and 7, 2017, from the Pohoiki boat launch ramp in south Hawai‘i island. These involved repeated launches of the vessel LavaKai II from the ramp without having a valid commercial use ramp permit.

Turpin’s other company, Lava Ocean Tours Inc., does hold one of the four available commercial use ramp permits issued by the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation for use of the state ramp for operation of its vessel, LavaOne.


On the same dates the LavaOne was also carrying passengers for lava viewing tours. However, permit holders may not use the boat ramp to launch other vessels not covered by the permit.

The board declined to assess additional fines ranging from $5,000 to $35,000 against two vessel captains for multiple counts of violating the same boating rule. Any future violations may result in citations, fines or possible revocation of the commercial use launch ramp permit.



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Ric E Reed *$80,000June 09, 2017 05:43pm
Haley Hinds-Baldwin WrongJune 09, 2017 05:58pm
Carey Adkison So let's beat the shit out of the little guy and make it fucking impossible to get the permits you do require so that no tourists or locals can have fun. This is what over regulation looks like people! You still want more government?June 09, 2017 08:34pm
Keysha Standley What a crock. So if I want to rent boat and go see lava I can't without paying one of 2 or 3 boats charging arm n leg for a puke fest?June 10, 2017 01:01am
Keysha Standley Monopoly folks.June 10, 2017 01:01am
Keone Davis They should have fined them 50kJune 10, 2017 02:15pm

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