April 28, 2011 Membership Meeting


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Marine Education and Training Center

AGENDA ITEM #1    Call to Order

        Robin Bond called the meeting to order. Over 55 members were in attendance.

AGENDA ITEM #2    Mr. Bond introduced the participants on the Panel to discuss the March 11th Tsunami in Hawaii

Ground Rules

Please introduce yourself when asking questions because we will be taping the discussion.

We are looking to review the things that worked and the things that need to be looked at.   

We want to focus on identifying needs that we can look into with subcommittees to be formed.

Panel Members introduced themselves.   They include:

     Pacific Tsunami Center  –  Gerard Fryer

     State DLNR  –  Ed Underwood

     State Harbors  –  Randy Grune

     State Civil Defense  –  Ed Teixeira

     Dept. of Emergency Management  –  John Cummings

     Harbor Pilots  –  Capt. Ed Enos

     Local Fisherman (Ala Wai)  –  Robert Broderick

     United States Coast Guard  –  Captain Joanna Nunan

Tentative Goals for Discussion

·                           Improved communications before, during and after a tsunami

·                         Develop a Tsunami Preparedness (Contingency) Plan

·                         Develop a planning brochure for small boat harbors.

·                        Designate staging/evacuation areas for commercial vs recreational vessels.

·                        Permanent offshore (alternative) mooring areas in case of extensive harbor damage.

·                        Develop a volunteer response force

·                        Procedure to assist vessels that breakdown or have problems while off shore.

·                        Improved harbor security after the “all clear”.

·                        Need greater accountability following an incident on potential loss of vessels and or loss of life.  

·                       Reopening harbors is a statewide, harbor specific issue that needs local authority and jurisdictional coordination. Local input to the Coast Guard should be clarified.

Improved Communication

Captain Nunan discussed the Coast Guards efforts to identifying what worked and didn’t work with respect to communications. One thing they noticed was that many people didn’t have VHF radios so their efforts to communicate to vessels via that means weren’t as successful as it could be.    Input from the public on what radio stations they listen to may be helpful. A great number of attendees voiced their concerns regarding communication and asked to be a part of the communications subcommittee. There needs to be a list of all methods of communication and the phases of “all clear”.  Some folks experienced dead cell phones.  We need to find a good reliable contact for service at ATT.  The City is using Sprint.   Most of the maritime folks have CBs and large vessels have Sat phones.  Channels 12 & 16 were flooded.

At Kewalo the telephones were out along with E-mail so administration did a notification walk through contacting each boat operator.  This communication delivery system worked well with two folks contacting everyone within one hour.

Questions posed were “what is the role of the CG/State Civil Defense & DLNR?” and “who has control of recreational boaters?”  The CG needs to do call-outs more often than every 15 minutes.  Messages need to get to boaters off shore.  CG does an evaluation of the safe ports at first light.  We need to manage expectations

NOAA Weather can disseminate information using local weather broadcasts. 

It was suggested that there needs to be better education of boaters and that a flashing light at all harbors could help (red) closed & (green) open with boaters off shore.

There was a concern as to how best to get to the media.  There was a discussion about establishing a designated Unified Command that has the authority during events such as tsunamis to handle the communication, safety, security and enforcement issues. 

Designated Staging and Evacuation Areas for Vessels

The Coast Guard is also looking into segregating the offshore areas between commercial and recreational vessels.   One idea is to draw a line offshore in-line with the Honolulu Harbor range lights.   Recreational vessel would be on one side and commercial vessels on the other. This information could be placed in the phone book.   More to follow.

General discussion followed.   Many good ideas were discussed but it was recognized that more work is needed.

Develop a Tsunami brochure for small boat harbors.

This should be considered after we resolve some of the issues under discussion.

HOST should be in charge of this.   Tesoro volunteered that they may be able to contribute to the cost of such an effort.

AGENDA ITEM #3  –  Announcements 

            There were no significant announcements.


Initially, HOST had planned to form separate subcommittees to tackle the goals identified at the HOST meeting (above). However, since the HOST panel discussion, the Coast Guard has established a workgroup made up of the USCG, State Harbors and DLNR, State Emergency Management, NOAA, the Tsunami Center, HPD, Hawaii Pilots, major Honolulu Harbor maritime companies, HOST representative, etc. The Coast Guard decided that the most effective way to prepare for future tsunamis is to develop an Incident Action Plan for Tsunamis, Pre and Post to ensure that Hawaii’s ports, harbors and maritime community are prepared for the next serious disaster.

The Incident Plan will involve all islands and all harbors, both commercial and recreational. It will include activities that need to take place prior to a tsunami; during the incident and to reconstitute the harbors once the tsunami has passed. The plan will consider the use of a “Unified Command” approach to ensure the most effective and integrated operation.

The incident action plan will be similar to “Maritime Heavy Weather & Hurricane Plan” that the  Coast Guard developed mid July 2007 and can be found in the HOST SOP 7-07. The Plan provides in part,  to “…provide guidance to the Hawaiian Islands and maritime community within the CG Captain of the Port (COTP) Honolulu zone on steps that should be taken and critical risk factors to consider: before, during and after heavy weather. It should be used by all marine interests to prepare plans for terminals, facilities, vessels and/or marine operations.”

The action plan will basically cover most of the goals covered at the HOST panel discussion. Once a draft plan is completed it will be distributed to HOST and presented at a HOST membership meeting for review and comment. The CG will then take back our comments for consideration.

The incident action plan will address one of the most important shortfalls that was identified at the panel discussion; communications. The plan should mitigate problems that occurred on all islands as a result of miss-communications especially with the recreational boaters.

HOST has already received written comments and suggestions to improve our efforts before, during and after a tsunami. However, more suggestions and comments are welcome and can be forwarded to HOST for consideration in the action plan. HOST will provide updates as the plan develops.

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