East Hawaii News

Buoy or Not, Debris Destined For Disposal

November 12, 2012, 5:32 PM HST
* Updated November 12, 5:33 PM
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State officials continue to study the best way to dispose of a large pontoon-like item that washed onshore in Ka`u early last month.

Deborah Ward, spokeswoman for the Department of Land and Natural Resources, on Friday said bids are being solicited for a company willing to cut it up into pieces that can be removed by helicopter.

DLNR spokeswoman Deborah Ward. Photo by Dave Smith.

The DLNR has allocated $100,000 for the project.

The owner of the land where the item came ashore has indicated he does not want heavy equipment used there, which limits the state’s options, she said.

It is still not known exactly what the debris is.


Responses to queries made by the state have indicated it may be a marine buoy, Ward said. Officials believe it may have landed upside-down.

The owner of the land where the item washed ashore does not want heavy equipment used. Photo by Gordon Heit, DLNR.


A study of the item showed it is roughly 10-feet by 20-feet in size. It is believed to be constructed of half-inch-thick steel plating, with an estimated weight of 4 to 7 tons.

Ward said there’s no indication yet that it may be related to debris from the March 2011 Japan tsunami.

“It’s somewhat of a mystery,” she said.

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