Call for help pays off

The phone call Chino Godinez received late Thursday afternoon from a driver of his 14-passenger van with Kayak Kauai was unexpected.

The driver told Godinez he and his guests heading back from a kayaking adventure were on the road leaving Polihale State Park when they arrived at a roadblock consisting of two men in a Jeep: Due to a missile launch test by the Pacific Missile Range Facility, they were told, the road was closed to traffic until about 9 p.m.

They could wait there or turn around.

The driver called his boss for help.

“We knew nothing about it,” Godinez said.

“I’ll call around,” he told his driver.

He called PMRF but couldn’t reach anyone. He called police.

“They were surprised,” he said of the roadblock.

Godinez was told police would check it out. They did.

While others turned back rather than sit in their vehicle for several hours, the Kayak Kauai van, its driver and passengers waited. Their patience paid off.

Police arrived and after some discussion, escorted the van through the roadblock and back toward the highway.

“The van driver is now following police out of Polihale,” Godinez said about 5 p.m. in a phone call to The Garden Island.

Godinez said such a incident had never happened in his 30 years in the business. He was surprised such a road could be blocked without any notice for an extended time.

“How can they just turn these people around? Nobody gets home until midnight?” he asked. “And police aren’t aware of it?”

PMRF spokesmen could not be reached for comment.

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