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Second attempt fails to free grounded yacht on Maui

HONOLUA BAY, Maui — Salvage teams failed in their second attempt at freeing the 120-ton yacht stuck on the shore reef of Honolua Bay on Monday night, and the state says that inclement weather has postponed further efforts until this weekend.

According to a March 1 news release from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, the tractor tug Mary Catherine, operated by Sause Brothers Inc., was unable to pull the grounded yacht Nakoa away from the reef.

The Mary Catherine had arrived at the scene on Monday to further assist the salvage ship Kahi, operated by Visionary Marine LLC, after a failed first attempt.

Both the Kahi and the Mary Catherine returned to Honolulu late Monday night, and they are not expected to return to Maui until Friday or Saturday, according to the release.

“Everyone’s safety remains our top priority, and until the weather and sea conditions improve, we simply cannot put anyone at risk during a salvage operation,” said DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Resources Administrator Ed Underwood in a statement.

“When conditions improve, the vessels will return to Honolua Bay with stronger rigging, hopefully by Friday or sometime this weekend,” he added.

The yacht has been stuck on the shore since Feb. 20, when its owner, Jim Jones, accidentally grounded the vessel by the Honolua-Mokule‘ia Marine Life Conservation District.

The DLNR took control of the yacht late last week, and said Jones will be billed for the $460,000 cost of removal, as well as additional fines for damage to reef structures and potential boating violations.

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Emma Grunwald, reporter, can be reached 808-652-0638 or egrunwald@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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