HONOLULU — A billionaire was blocked from docking at a Molokai harbor after he tried to visit the island with his massive yacht.
A group of residents and activists told the vessel’s crew on Friday that they were not welcome on Molokai, an island just northwest of Maui, Hawaii News Now reported .
The $195 million yacht is owned by billionaire tech investor Yuri Milner, who has invested in American social media companies.
Hawaii activist Loretta Ritte said residents have nothing against visitors; they’re just sensitive about ships and potential large influxes of tourists.
She said those who gathered at the harbor just want to preserve their lifestyle.
“We want to keep Molokai, Molokai,” she said. “The Molokai where we still can go out and not be afraid. We don’t have to lock our doors, our cars, we can let our kids go out. So I think that’s what we’re trying to protect, the lifestyle of Molokai.”
Walter Ritte said “anyone with that kind of money to buy such a cruise ship could come” to Molokai “and take control of the whole island.”
The activists said Milner and his crew turned around and headed toward Maui.
“I think the threat was just the presence of this large ship there and being able to come and go as it pleased,” Loretta Ritte said. “And just being afraid that other ships could set precedents for more ships to come in.”
Information from: KGMB-TV, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/