SUV left behind — in the ocean

  • Contributed photo

    An abandoned vehicle sits in the ocean near Wailua Friday.

WAILUA — A vehicle with shattered windows and no tires was reported Friday on the beach behind Wailua Golf Course and was retrieved by the county the same day.

That vehicle is now over at Resource Recovery Solutions in Puhi and the process to dispose of it has already started. No contamination of surrounding environment was reported.

“Derelict vehicles are often towed the same day it is posted and disposal begins upon arrival to Resource Recovery Solutions,” Kauai Police Department representatives said Friday.

A photo of the black SUV with missing tires and a shattered windshield was emailed to TGI with the subject word, “Disgusting.”

Its removal brings total retrievals in 2019 to nine — at least.

More complaints have been received, but due to time constraints, the actual number of complaints for 2019 wasn’t readily available, the KPD spokesperson said.

In 2018, the KPD received about 1,089 abandoned/derelict vehicle complaints, and the department is still addressing those complaints throughout the dawn of 2019.

At least 50 of those vehicle complaints were derelict vehicles that were processed and removed from shorelines or beach areas in 2018. In addition, many abandoned vehicle complaints are resolved due to the vehicle being moved by the owner prior to tow, a KPD spokesperson said.

Once a vehicle has been posted abandoned and the 24-hour period passes, the KPD typically has the vehicle towed within the next 24 hours. Then the search starts for the vehicle’s registered owner. Within 30 days after that step, the owners are either found or the KPD disposes of the vehicle.

The state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources spokesman said their Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation does sometimes get involved in vehicle removal.

“It is the county’s responsibility to remove the vehicle if it is on the beach. If the owner does not remove the vehicle then the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation will remove it,” DLNR spokesman AJ McWhorter said.

He also said DLNR doesn’t know how many vehicles removals DOBOR was involved in on Kauai in 2018 or thusfar this year.


Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or

  1. Knowitall January 5, 2019 3:43 am Reply

    Tourist always disrepect by dumping old cars

    1. Common sense January 5, 2019 7:11 pm Reply

      Ya cause beat old jeep liberty’s is what tourist rent.
      You no have meat left in dat crusty coconut head of urs

  2. ruthann jones January 5, 2019 4:00 am Reply

    o.k. folks….this cannot be blamed on the tourists! So, who is going to pay for the retrieval of this and other dumped vehicles in Kauai?

  3. Prentiss January 5, 2019 4:42 am Reply

    Sad that so many people have so little respect for the environment. The article doesn’t mention a fine for abandoning a vehicle, but I hope there is one and I hope it’s steep.

  4. 9th island January 5, 2019 4:45 am Reply

    Tourist always trashing the beaches. Oh wait my bad this car was left behind by a local.

  5. james January 5, 2019 7:51 am Reply

    What is being done by the police or County to find out who the owners of these abandoned vehicles are and file charges against them or at least sue them to collect the cost of towing and storing the vehicle? What is the enforcement policy? Are there any investigators assigned to this task?

  6. Russell west January 5, 2019 8:37 am Reply

    Love life

  7. tunataxi January 5, 2019 10:12 am Reply

    Don’t tell me our police department can’t find the owner

  8. anony mouse January 5, 2019 12:35 pm Reply

    I think this is near where there was a ton of black smoke across the road Friday morning, like there was a tire fire on the beach. Was this the cause, and was there reeeeally no impact on the surrounding environment?

  9. okee dokee January 5, 2019 2:02 pm Reply

    The new to the island 5 plus years and have a tamba bumper sticker ….”haole local” transplants

  10. some guy January 5, 2019 2:06 pm Reply

    tourists at it again, trashing our beaches, go home you tourists stop driving to kauai and dumping your cars on our beaches

  11. Suzan Kelsey Brooks January 9, 2020 9:06 am Reply

    Three vehicles in the same spot, on the beach, on January 8, 2019. Empty bottles of oil, etc. Check the VIN #s?

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