Following a private, offshore fireworks show that has some Westsiders up in arms, the fingerpointing has begun.
It's hard to pin down a responsible government party here, but the U.S. Coast Guard says the L.A. County Fire Department actually “inspected” the boat carrying Khloe Kardashian and birthday boy James Harden before the midnight fireworks that shocked some residents out of their sleep Wednesday.
The open-ocean display on a boat west of Marina del Rey reportedly was carried out in Harden's honor, and authorities, including the Coast Guard, the county fire department and the Sheriff's department, were notified it would happen.
None of them apparently thought of warning the public, however.
The result was eight minutes of rockets' red glare, a private show of pyrotechnics that took place on a boat more than 100 feet outside the Marina del Rey breakwater, Sheriff's officials said. That's a key metric, too: Less than 100 feet would have given deputies jurisdiction.
The U.S. Coast Guard claims it had limited authority over the event, too.
A statement by the sheriff's department said, “The event planners inquired with the U.S. Coast Guard, prior to the event and went through the appropriate U.S. Coast Guard review process.”
That's true. But there was no permit granted.
Coast Guard spokeswoman Andrea Anderson told us, “In terms of the Coast Guard approving it, that wasn't necessarily the case.
“Based on a checklist, the Coast Guard found the event met all safety criteria,” she said. “However, the event itself did not require a permit.”
That's because it didn't involve multiple boats, Anderson said.
The L.A. County Fire Department inspected the boat before the party, she said: It has its own checklist for those requesting to produce a pyrotechnics show.
“It met all safety requirements,” Anderson said. “It was checked out by the L.A. County Fire Department and was able to handle pyrotechnics.”
The Coast Guard also “issued a letter of recommendation stating they [the party's organizers] met all the safety criteria.”
We asked for the letter but were told it wasn't available.
The fire department said in a statement that it “understands the public concern” about the display and that it is “working on a fireworks permit corrective action plan” that would “consider time of day and appropriate community outreach” next time around.
A Sheriff's spokeswoman says multiple members of the public have filed formal criminal complaints about the noise and that the situation was under investigation.
“The Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Station is conducting an inquiry to ascertain if any laws or ordinances were violated,” she said.