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Swimmer: Sailboat chain damaged coral in Kailua Bay

May 3, 2014 - 12:05am

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is investigating a report of an anchor chain damaging coral in Kailua Bay.

DLNR spokeswoman Deborah Ward confirmed Friday she had received a report about the damage, which was spotted by a Kailua-Kona woman and two friends who were swimming in the bay Friday morning.

Pam Miller told West Hawaii Today she saw a sailboat anchored in the bay at 8:30 a.m. When she and her friends swam by, they saw 40 to 60 feet of heavy chain from the boat resting in coral. Miller took photos, video and attempted to talk to a man sitting on the boat. He responded only with “uh-huh” to her and her friends’ comments, she said.

The anchor was in a sandy spot, Miller said, but she “could visibly see white, broken bits of coral.”

Miller said she first mentioned the incident to a pier security guard, who noted that a DLNR employee was on the pier. Miller tried to talk with him, but didn’t feel he was taking the complaint seriously.

She eventually contacted Ward, who took down the complaint and directed Miller to speak with the DLNR’s staff at Honokohau Harbor. Someone there asked Miller if she had witnessed the damage. She said she had, and volunteered that she had taken pictures and video. That DLNR employee didn’t seem particularly enthusiastic about investigating, Miller said.

“It’s just not an urgent matter for anybody,” she said.