Hapuna Beach, Big Island

Unexploded Ammunition at Hawaii’s Hapuna Beach

The Big Island’s Hapuna Beach is one of my favorite in the entire state, and I have never seen anything dangerous there other than seasonal big surf. So while scouring the web for Hawaii travel deals we love to bring you, I was caught by complete surprise to see in this morning’s newspaper a brief and thus far incomplete story.

Hapuna Beach Shut Down Because of Suspected Ordnance.

Apparently, a lifeguard spotted an unexploded device in shallow water at the south end of the beach. The device was partially under sand, and appeared to be about 6 inches in diameter.

Ordnances in Hawaii Have Killed Nine

It would take more than 65 years to find and dispose of the unexploded ammunition in…Waikoloa. — US Army Corps of Engineers

 Unexploded bombs and other military devices have long been a problem on the Big Island. Nine people are known to have been killed by ordnances remaining from the 1940’s. A five year $50 million ordnance cleanup was recently completed in the neighboring Waikoloa area. In total the US Army Corps of Engineers have identified over 60,000 acres on the Big Island that contain unexploded devices.

Hapuna Beach isn’t far from the Makukona naval bombing range. During World War Two, it was a target for high explosive rockets and bombs.

Perhaps I should have added avoiding ordnances to yesterday’s piece on Six Tips For a Safe Hawaii Vacation.


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4 thoughts on “Unexploded Ammunition at Hawaii’s Hapuna Beach”

  1. We went to Hapuna this evening and they closed it again because more bombs were found. What about uranium in the water if live ammunition is buried in the sand?

  2. This is shocking to me as well. We have swam at
    Hapuna for decades! In the last several years, we’ve
    Stayed at Hapuna Prince multiple times per year too. We never heard of this before!

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