Larry Ellison’s luxury yacht has no boundaries, including, apparently, prohibited nature preserves. 


Some angry Lanai residents say the island’s new billionaire owner dropped anchor in the Hulopoe Bay nature preserve this past weekend, but skipped out before state boating enforcement officers got out there.

State law bans boaters from the preserve. And Lanaians want Ellison to pay the $250 fine — just like some of them have had to. After all, he’s worth $41 billion, according to Forbes.

Civil Beat couldn’t reach Ellison for comment.

Residents have reported seeing Ellison around the island the past few days. And according to one local, the grass at his properties was being cut rather frantically on Friday — a sign of an impending visit by Lanai’s owner. Grass cutting was a sure sign that David Murdock, the billionaire real estate tycoon who sold the island to Ellison in June, was about to touch down.

The glistening Hulopoe Bay on Lanai’s south shore is home to spinner dolphins and humpback whales, as well as a dazzling array of fish and coral life. Surrounded by a white crescent-shaped beach, the bay is a favorite of swimmers and snorkelers.

But boats are off limits. The state designated Hulopoe Bay as one of Hawaii’s 11 marine life conservation districts to protect and replenish marine life.

So when locals spotted the large vessel anchored in the bay on Sunday, they paddled out to tell the boat captain that he wasn’t supposed to be there. That’s the story according to locals and Deborah Ward, a spokeswoman for the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The yacht was in the bay for about 20 minutes before moving, said Ward.

By the time DLNR’s enforcement officer on Lanai responded, the vessel was outside the conservation zone. The officer radioed the boat captain and gave him a verbal warning not to reenter the nature preserve, said Ward.

She said it was up to to the officer to issue a citation, which would be a petty misdemeanor and involve a fine. The officer went with a warning rather than a ticket, but he apparently forgot to send the warning letter. Ward said the officer was continuing to follow up to determine who owned the vessel so he could send a formal letter.

Lanaians have no doubt about the identity of the yacht and its famous owner.

They say it’s Ellison’s yacht and have been trading iPhone photos of it. Ward said that the word Asahi was written on the boat, the name of one of Ellison’s yachts, according to Internet references.

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