Hawaii News

Another tourist following GPS drives down same ramp into water at Big Island harbor

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Another tourist following GPS drives a vehicle into Honokohau Small Boat Harbor in Kailua-Kona on May, 29, 2023. You can see its headlights in the bottom of the photo. (Justin Pasamonte)

It was hard to believe it happened once. But for the second time in a month, a tourist following GPS in Kailua-Kona drove down the same ramp directly into the water at Honōkohau Small Boat Harbor.

This time it was a blue 2020 Ford Edge that went for a swim at about 7:45 p.m. on Monday.

Harbor worker Justin Pasamonte was washing a boat when he saw the driver take the same route as another tourist did on April 29 when she was following directions to a manta ray dive tour. That woman had to be rescued as water began to fill her car.

A tourist following GPS to a manta ray dive tour drove into Honokohau Small Boat Harbor on April 29, 2023. (Christie Hutchinson)

Pasamonte said the sole occupant of the vehicle on Monday got out safely without help.

“There was a boat that had just came in they threw her a float and got her up on his boat,” Pasamonte said.

Hawai‘i Island police responded to the harbor at 8:01 p.m. Police spokesperson Denise Laitinen said crews were able to remove the car.


The driver told police she was using GPS when it led her straight to the water.

Witnesses told Hawaii News Now the driver apparently thought the water was a big puddle. While her vehicle was slowly submerging into the water, a witness was surprised by the woman’s slow reaction.

The other tourist who drove into the water also moved slowly, with video showing no sense of urgency to get out.


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