H.C.R. NO.














requesting the department of the attorney general to investigate, review, and pursue all applicable civil claims and criminal charges against the owner and commercial operator of the yacht "nakoa".



     WHEREAS, Honolua Bay is treasured by many people as a natural and cultural resource, and the bay is a popular location for recreational activities such as snorkeling, SCUBA diving, and surfing; and


WHEREAS, the "Nakoa" was a ninety-four foot, one hundred twenty-ton luxury yacht owned by the Albert Trust and operated by Jim Jones and Jones' luxury tour company Noelani Yacht Charters, LLC; and


     WHEREAS, the Nakoa reportedly ran aground the morning of February 20, 2023, on a reef approximately seven hundred feet outside the Honolua-Mokuleia Bay Marine Life Conservation District; and


     WHEREAS, media coverage of the incident included the following details:


     (1)  The vessel was attached overnight to a day-use-only mooring having a two-hour time limit per use, when the mooring line snapped, causing the vessel to drift onto the reef;


     (2)  On February 21, 2023, one day after the vessel ran aground, fuel was observed leaking from the vessel into the ocean;


     (3)  Due to the environmental threat posed by the vessel, the Coast Guard Federal On-Scene Coordinator opened the National Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to support efforts to mitigate potential oil and hazardous substance pollution;


     (4)  Cleanup efforts included the placement of absorbent materials inside the vessel to capture loose substances; placement of a containment boom around the vessel to capture other discharges; and pumping of diesel from the vessel's fuel tanks into fifty‑five‑gallon drums, followed by removal of the drums via airlift to an offsite location for safe disposal;


     (5)  Personnel from the Maui Police Department, Department of Land and Natural Resources, United States Coast Guard, and multiple private contractors assisted with response, cleanup, and salvage efforts;


     (6)  Removal of the Nakoa from Honolua Bay was arranged by the Department of Land and Natural Resources using a private contractor, at a cost of approximately $460,000, not including significant administrative and staffing costs;


     (7)  Noelani Yacht Charters, LLC, operates commercial tours to numerous locations in the State, including Honolua Bay, and advertises tour packages from Maui starting at $9,800; and


     (8)  The Department of Land and Natural Resources indicated that it is investigating the February 20, 2023, incident, will conduct an assessment of any environmental harm caused by the Nakoa, and has raised the possibility that Jones may face fines for any violations of boating laws that occurred, and reimbursement of costs incurred by the State for removal of the vessel and repairs of damage caused by the vessel to coral reefs and live rock in Honolua Bay; and


     WHEREAS, the February 20, 2023, incident and resulting public and media scrutiny have raised questions about environmental laws and administrative rules that may have been violated in connection with operation of the Nakoa and, more broadly, about the legality of business practices engaged in by Jones and Noelani Yacht Charters, LLC; and


     WHEREAS, the preservation of access to Honolua Bay and protection of the greater Honolua-Mokuleia Bay Marine Life Conservation District require timely and consistent enforcement of all applicable state laws and administrative rules governing the use of these areas; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirty-second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2023, the Senate concurring, that the Department of the Attorney General is requested to conduct a thorough investigation and review of the February 20, 2023, incident involving the Nakoa at Honolua Bay, and other relevant incidents involving the Nakoa or Noelani Yacht Charters, LLC, and pursue all applicable civil claims and criminal charges against the vessel's owner, and its operators Jim Jones and Noelani Yacht Charters, LLC; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Attorney General, Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, Chairperson of the Maui County Council, and President of the Save Honolua Coalition.









Report Title:

Attorney General; Investigation; Noelani Yacht Charters, LLC