By Wendy Osher
Twenty-five passengers aboard a tour boat on Maui were rescued Sunday near La Perouse Bay. The 30-foot vessel was pushed up against the rocky coastline by waves when the crew attempted to back the boat into a cave.
The Kanaloa vessel sustained damage to the front right side of the boat, and one of the engines on the rear. The boat was safely towed back to the Kihei Boat Ramp with no pollution or injuries reported.
The Coast Guard from Station Maui assisted in the rescue. They were responding to an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon signal from the boat that was emitted at 8:26 a.m.
The Coast Guard arrived on the scene at 9:29 a.m. Five passengers were transferred to the company’s sister ship, the Pineapple Express; and the remaining 18 passengers were transferred to a Coast Guard vessel.
Two crew members were transferred to a 30-foot fishing vessel operated by the company owner, who arrived to render assistance. The vessel was used to tow the damaged tour boat back to the shore.
“This is a good example of why EPIRBs are essential to mariners,” said Andrew J. Statham, a boatswain’s mate from Station Maui. “Having this aboard significantly increased the Coast Guard’s response time and allowed us to get to them and render assistance quickly.”