Jet Crashes on Moloka‘i

On May 10, 2000, a private jet crashed on Moloka‘i while approaching the airport. Six people died.

Helicopter Crashes in ‘Iao Valley, Killing Seven

On July 21, 2000, an Aerospatiale AS355 twin-engine sightseeing helicopter crashed at the base of Maui’s ‘Īao Valley in the West Maui Mountains, killing seven people.

The National Transportation and Safety Board blamed the crash on pilot error, and in particular, the pilot’s decision to fly into cloudy weather.[i]

Shark Bites Windsurfer

On August 15, 2000, a windsurfer was severely bitten in the lower left leg by a tiger shark. The attack occurred about ˝-mile offshore southeast of Kū‘au after the windsurfer fell off his board and was severely bitten in the lower left leg by a tiger shark identified by teeth recovered after the incident.[ii]

Eight Survive, One Dies in Plane Crash

On August 25, 2000, a twin-engine Piper PA 31-350 Navajo Chieftain airplane ditched in the ocean about 200 yards offshore of Hilo. One passenger died in the crash, but seven survived along with the plane’s pilot. The crash occurred at 5:30 p.m., and helicopters and rescue boats pulled the survivors from the water before nightfall.

The cause of the crash was loss of power in the right engine and an engine fire, and it came to rest about 100-feet-deep in Hilo Bay. An S-61 Sikorsky helicopter could not lift the plane out of the water so instead pulled it to the shore. The plane broke in two as the helicopter lifted it off the beach.[iii]

Shark Bites Snorkeler

On October 18, 2000, a 56-year-old female snorkeler about ˝-mile offshore was bitten on the upper and lower back.

Volcanic Gasses Kill Two

On November 5, 2000, a man and a woman were found dead about 100 yards from the ocean in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park along Hawai‘i Island’s southeast coastline where they were observing the volcanic activity.

It was later determined that the two had inhaled so much acid-laden steam from the lava that their lungs became filled with fluid, preventing their hearts from pumping blood fast enough. This is known as pulmonary edema.[iv]

[i] Recent Fatal Copter Crashes. The Honolulu Advertiser, 3/09/2007.

[ii] Kubota, Gary. Surfer escapes shark’s jaws on Maui. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 5/03/2005.

[iii] Hurley, Timothy. 5 safe in plane’s sea landing: Cessna ditched off coast of Big Island. The Honolulu Advertiser, 5/19/2001.

Clark, Hugh. Crash victim’s body found: Salvage crews lift wreckage from Hilo Bay. The Honolulu Advertiser.

[iv] Cause of death of hikers on lava flow determined. The Honolulu Advertiser.