Navy ships and crazy sharks at Tunnels

SOURCE: Laurel Douglass (
SUBHEAD: OK why were there five giant ships and subs off the coast from Tunnels Beach and a lot of very big sharks going nuts?  

By Terry Lilley on 14 November 2011 from email - 

Image above: Ships off Tunnels Beach. Cropped and filtered from original email jpeg. Click to enlarge.

 Hello Ocean Lovers, You may want to look at this email if you plan on living in Kauai for a while. I am not an alarmist but as a scientist I just report the facts. If you want to look at the facts then we may wish to know what happened today at Tunnels Reef. I went out diving today at Tunnels to spearfish some roi for our ciguatera research project with UH. Just a normal day for me. On the outside of the reef I had speared an uku for dinner and while I was taking it off the spear a very big tiger shark zoomed by me with its pectoral fins pointed down, which may mean it is agitated. Not a good feeling. This was the first big Tiger Shark that has shown agressive behaviour to me in 20 years!

Spearing with a fish in hand, and having a very big shark near by can be a problem. The shark went by quickly and I put my fish in my bag. I really felt uneasy with the sharks behaviour and swam back to shore. Once I got back to shore there were two large grey reef sharks going nuts right in the surf on the shore. The turtles were flipping out and the large kala were up in two feet of water. They were obviously alarmed with the sharks aberrant behaviour. All of this scared the crap out of me which usually never happens, as I love the sharks and dive with them often.

As I surfaced on the shore I noticed a bunch of giant boats just outside of Tunnels Reef. It looked like a giant tanker ship, two navy destroyer ships and two boats that sunk below the surface. Maybe submarines. Not sure. I went to report this unusual activity to the life guards at Tunnels and found out they had been tracking the boats for a while. I see sharks all the time and I love hanging out with them but today was unusual. The big sharks were obviously agitated and super aggressive! The life guards closed down the beach and I feel this was a good judgement call. OK why were there five giant ships and subs off the coast from Tunnels Beach and a lot of very big sharks going nuts? Seems like the public may want to know what the hell was going on!

Image above: Disturbed sharks off Tunnels Beach, a favorite tourist snorkeling area. 

 A year ago I was diving at Tunnels while taking HD video and I took pics of a bunch of 6 foot reef sharks going nuts! This blew me away until I came to the surface and saw the navy boats with their Rim Pac testing going on! I think we deserve an explanation for our government as to what the hell they are doing in Kauai and why it is causing our sea live to go nuts! • Terry Lilley is a marine biologist living in Hanalai, Kauai, Hawaii

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Mud in Hanalei Bay 11/11/11
Island Breath: Whale Stranding in Hanalei 9/2/04
Island Breath: Videos on RIMPAC Impact 5/23/06  
Island Breath: Limits of Imperial Power 5/24/2006
Island Breath: Compromise on RIMPAC 7/9/2006
Island Breath: Superferry and Military 10/13/2006
Island Breath: Protecting whales from Navy 6/3/07
Island Breath: Stryker Brigade News 2/6/2007 
Island Breath: American Imperialism 1/30/2007


1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the report. I wasn't at Tunnels, yesterday, but saw the ships from the Hanalei Colony Resort. Was Tunnels open today? Has the strange fish behavior stopped?

Alan, a guest at HCR

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