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Probable World War 2 Munitions Investigated Off Lana‘i

Courtesy DLNR

Divers from the Department of Land and Natural Resources investigated and identified probable World War II munitions off the south shore of Lana‘i on March 25.

Recreational divers first spotted the "unexploded ordnances" (UXO) and reported them to officials. They were found about 300 yards offshore near Hulopo'e Beach, at least 75 feet below the surface. 

Credit Courtesy DLNR
Divers prepare to investigate the unexploded ordnances off the coast of Lana‘i

Two probable World War II munitions are about 3 feet long and relatively intact. DLNR divers surveyed the area to identify any potential impacts on reefs and marine environment.

One is near a significant rock bench and coral habitat and the second is partially buried in sand and rock rubble.

The third item is likely an empty metal pipe, but it was treated as an UXO for safety, the DLNR said. It’s possible, according to the divers, that there is another UXO in the same area, but they were unable to find it.

The U.S. Army Director of Munitions and Chemical Matters will conduct a risk assessment to help decide how to dispose of the items, if at all.

Credit Courtesy DLNR

“We will keep the Lana‘i community informed about any plans for these UXO, which could include leaving them in place," DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said. "In the meantime, we ask people to practice the 3Rs (Recognize, Retreat, Report) when they see any suspect UXO in the water or on land.”

Divers are asked to avoid the area until further notice.

Sophia McCullough is HPR's digital news producer. Contact her at
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