Maritime conference next week

Water Ways
Honolulu Star Bulletin (2/24/01)
By Ray Pendleton

If you are a recreational boater who thinks something called the Hawaii Maritime Industry Day can't be for you, think again.

This annual conference takes place next Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Hawaii Convention Center. Its attendees will include representatives from both the public and private sector.

Because it's designed to provide a forum for the networking and partnering of Hawaii's maritime community, there are many commercial maritime-related topics on the event's agenda. But, as in past years, the schedule of presentations is loaded with subjects many in our recreational boating community should find informative.

Approximately 40 convention-style break-out sessions will be presented in five separate interest "tracks": General, Ports and Waterways, Passenger Vessels, Environment/Fishing, and Shipping.

Participants aren't required to follow any particular track, so they can pick the specific break-out sessions that appeal to them from the overall list.

One of the first presentations that should appeal to most boaters - and tax payers - is entitled Meet Your Elected Officials, and it will feature a discussion of maritime issues, which could easily include subjects like the commercial use of the Ala Wai Harbor or recreational boater access to Honolulu Harbor.

A scheduled presentation on the state Harbors Division's 2020 Master Plan has the potential for similar discussions.

Another presentation boaters may find interesting will be on commercial dive boats and the issues involved in their operations around the state. Such sessions create opportunities for sometime-competing interests to have meaningful dialog.

A session presented by a representative from the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary will be another forum of interest.

The lessons learned from last year's WikiWiki Ferry Demonstration Project from Barber's Point to Honolulu Harbor will also be presented.

In the past year there have been several incidents reported in the media that point to the need for more recreational boater education on safe boating and emergency-at-sea procedures.

Maritime Industry Day addresses this subject with no less than five presentations: "Dealing with an Emergency at Sea," "Life Rafts and Marine Safety," "New Trends in Search and Rescue Technology," "New Small Passenger Vessel Lifesaving Equipment Requirements," "and Safety at Sea - CPR, First Aid and Automatic Electronic Defibrillators."

Hawaii's unique maritime history will also be spotlighted with several related break-out sessions.

One session will feature a presentation by the Polynesian Voyaging Society on early navigation and voyages by Pacific Islanders, and another will describe early Hawaiian fishing practices.

Veteran journalist Bob Kraus will present a history of Honolulu Harbor and information on the Hawaii Maritime Center, and, in a separate session, the history of the USS Missouri will be discussed.

Sponsors for this year's event will be the U.S. Coast Guard, together with the Honolulu Propeller Club, Tesoro, Chevron, CSX and Matson lines, and Pacific Maritime, Hawaii Ocean Industry and Pacific Business News magazines.

Admission is $35, and it includes all of the break-out sessions, the vendors' hall, a continental breakfast, a luncheon with a keynote speaker and an afternoon no-host reception. Walk-ins will be admitted free, but will not be seated for lunch.

With so little time left, those interested in attending should contact the Coast Guard's Lieutenant Dan Norton at 522-8256 by Monday.

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