While transitioning from the Island Princess cruise ship to the waiting pilot boat, Capt. David "Kawika" Lyman was pitched overboard, injured by the pilot boat, possibly even the propeller.
He was recovered by the pilot boat captain, and brought to Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor, where members of an awaiting American Medical Response ambulance crew brought him to Wilcox Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. United States Coast Guard marine safety investigators were on the scene Sunday night, and continue their investigation because of the seriousness of the accident. State and federal laws mandate that licensed, experienced harbor pilots be at the helm of large, foreign-flagged ships, including many cruise ships, maneuvering in and out of Hawai'i's harbors, with Nawiliwili considered the trickiest of them all. While it is an occupation with high wages and built-in job security, because there are only a handful of licensed, experienced pilots in the state, it is also one that involves inherent dangers, including regular exposure to unpredictable elements. The Nawiliwili Harbor entrance requires captains to perform a full "S" turn in order to avoid the protective seawall and jetty, sometimes with only a few feet to spare before shallow reefs come into play in the shallows of the northern section of the harbor, not far from Kalapaki Beach. Waves along the eastern shore of Kaua'i were around five to eight feet.