Enlightening day ahead
for commercial, casual sailors

Water Ways
Honolulu Star Bulletin (03/11/00)
By Ray Pendleton

In a column at this time last year, I questioned why so few recreational boaters had attended the Hawaiian Maritime Industry Day a week earlier.

And even though its name implied it was a conference for commercial ocean users, I pointed out that many of its presentations provided information well-suited for most pleasure-boat sailors.

I concluded that there may have been at least two reasons for those boaters not attending: they didn't think the conference concerned them, or they just hadn't heard about it.

So, this year, instead of reporting on the conference after the fact, here is a preview of it with information supplied by the U.S. Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office in the hope of enticing more boaters to attend.

This year's 10th annual Hawaiian Maritime Industry Day will be held Wednesday in the Mid Pacific Conference Center at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. It runs from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Along with the Coast Guard, hosts for this year's event are the Honolulu Propeller Club, Hawaii Ocean Industry and Shipping News magazine, and Pacific Business News.

Admission to the conference is $30 and will include all breakout sessions, an exhibitors' hall, a continental breakfast, a luncheon with keynote speaker Greg Bonann of Baywatch Hawaii and a closing reception.

The 40 breakout sessions will include 35-minute long, convention-style presentations. They're scheduled five at a time, requiring all attendees to pick their favorites from the five general themes of Shipping, Ports and Waterways, Passenger Vessels, Fishing and the Environment, or General Interest.

Of the 40 planned presentations, there are several that should appeal to recreational boaters.

One concerns a potential offshore project involving something called a Very Large Floating Platform (VLFP). Dr. Craig McDonald from the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism will be discussing the issues concerning the formation of an international alliance to build and site a demonstration VLFP somewhere in Hawaiian waters.

Another presentation deals with the latest and best emergency signaling devises. In a session called Lost at Sea - How to get Rescuers' Attention, Dr. Robert Yonover of the Rescue Technologies Corp. will compare everything from smoke flares to satellite technology and evaluate their effectiveness.

An update by Terry O'Halloran of the Hawaii Operational Safety Team, or HOST, is another topic boaters should find interesting. As an organization comprised of volunteers from virtually every ocean user group in Hawai`i, HOST promotes safe and ecologically sound maritime operations.

Additionally, numerous vendors of marine products and services will have display booths in an exhibitor's hall where attendees may learn more about them.

It was in this exhibitor's hall last year, near the end of the day, that nearly all of the 300 attendees were able to find time to do some old fashioned networking during a no-host closing reception. It is sure to be the same this year.

Although there is very little time left to register, the Coast Guard's Lt. Dan Norton said he will accept registrations through Monday at 522-8256.

See you there.

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