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Submarine, ship, jet and balloon-type object off Maui, part of Naval exercise

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The Navyʻs Imua offshore supply ship, about one mile offshore of Hoʻokipa, Maui. (1.18.22) PC: Charlie Bray

Maui Now began receiving reports from witnesses on Tuesday morning, of a ship with some type of floating object above it, about one mile offshore of Hoʻokipa, Maui. 

In addition to the ship and balloon-type object hovering above, there was a “large jet flying low in big circles” and a submarine nearby, according to witness reports.  This was reported at around 8 a.m. on Jan. 18, 2022.  

Cmdr. Cindy Fields, spokesperson Submarine Force, US Pacific Fleet confirmed that, “There was a training event between a submarine and a P-8 off Maui.” 

A Navy Region Air Operations Officer also confirmed the plane was one of their P8s operating north of Maui, according to David Hodge, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Community Relations Manager.

The purpose of the exercise was not detailed.

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Similar activity was reported again today between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. According to marine traffic online, the vessel remained offshore of Hoʻokipa on Wednesday morning.

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Hoʻokipa is located along the north shore of Maui and is a popular beach among the surfing and windsurfing community.

  • The Navyʻs Imua offshore supply ship was observed about one mile offshore of Hoʻokipa, Maui. Witnesses described a balloon-type object hovering over the ship. (1.18.22) PC: courtesy
  • A submarine was also observed about one mile offshore of Hoʻokipa, Maui. (1.18.22) PC: Charlie Bray
  • A Navy aircraft was observed circling the area, about one mile offshore of Hoʻokipa, Maui. (1.18.22) PC: Charlie Bray
  • The Navyʻs Imua offshore supply ship was observed about one mile offshore of Hoʻokipa, Maui. Witnesses described a balloon-type object hovering over the ship. (1.18.22) PC: Charlie Bray
  • A Navy aircraft was observed circling the area, about one mile offshore of Hoʻokipa, Maui. (1.18.22) PC: Charlie Bray
  • A submarine was also observed about one mile offshore of Hoʻokipa, Maui. (1.18.22) PC: Charlie Bray
Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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