They are going fast: ‘I survived Honokohau Harbor’ T-shirts, with GPS coordinates
June 24, 2023, 4:00 AM HST
* Updated June 24, 10:50 AM
Hawai‘i Island residents were shocked after a tourist on her way to a manta ray night tour followed GPS down a ramp and right into the water of Honokōhau Small Boat Harbor in North Kona.
But one month later, when another female tourist did the exact same thing — with nobody getting hurt — it was downright comical.
Big Island resident Luis de Alba thought so, too, and designed a T-shirt to satirize the incidents. For authenticity, he even got the exact GPS coordinates to put on it: 19.669236091851676 and -156.02186336860086.
“It started as a joke between my girlfriend and I,” the 33-year-old man from Waikōloa said.
De Alba designed a black Hanes 100% cotton T-shirt with a partially submerged yellow vehicle that reads: “I survived Honokohau Harbor.”
De Alba started with 15 shirts. They sold out almost as fast as a Taylor Swift concert tickets. He decided to order a few dozen more and on Thursday posted them for sale, for $30, on social media. De Alba said he might expand, fulfilling requests for white shirts and tank tops.
“It’s just been blowing up,” de Alba said. “In one hour, I’ve had five people reach out about the shirt.”
The first incident happened on April 29, when two tourists went into the water at the harbor — complete with a viral video showing the driver calmly waiting and then climbing out of the car as local residents helped her to safety.
History repeated itself on May 29 when another tourist drove into the harbor waters. That woman, the sole occupant of the vehicle, had to be rescued as water began to fill her car.
The incidents even were the butt of a joke at a Hawaiʻi County town hall. When discussion included the need for more informative signs in public parks, Kona resident Jon Barlow had a suggestion for Mayor Mitch Roth: “Add a sign at the Honokōhau ramp that says – ‘No drive through.’ “
Anyone interested in picking up a shirt from de Alba can reach out to him through Facebook.