By Wendy Osher
(Update: 11:30 a.m. 9/11/13)
Officials with the Pacific Whale Foundation say its grounded Ocean Odyssey vessel was removed from the rocky area near Papawai Point, Maui at approximately 8:30 this morning.
“Soft float lines were used and no wires were involved. The vessel is afloat and will be towed to Honolulu for its annual inspection and maintenance, and any other necessary repairs,” said Anne Rillero, Communication Manager for the Pacific Whale Foundation.
PWF officials say the plan for the vessel was approved by the US Coast Guard and the state Department of Aquatic Resources.
State crews were on site this morning, monitoring the Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Odyssey vessel that had run aground near McGregor Point in Māʻalaea on Maui.
Company officials advised that the grounding is being investigated by the US Coast Guard.
The 64-foot catamaran struck a submerged rock about a quarter-mile east of McGregor Point while in transit from Māʻalaea to Oʻahu, said Maui Fire Capt. Bram DenHaan. The vessel reportedly left Māʻalaea at approximately 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
Capt. DenHaan said there were no injuries, and no hazardous materials released into the ocean. Fire crews were able to ladder the boat from shore and evacuate four crew members aboard, officials said.
Authorities say the captain of the Ocean Odyssey stayed with the vessel awaiting salvage operations.
The vessel sustained damage to one of its hulls, according to incident reports.
The Pacific Whale Foundation posted an update on its Facebook page saying the vessel was en route to Oʻahu for its annual hull inspection and drydock when the incident occurred.
According to the PWF post, the vessel struck a submersed rock and subsequently ran aground on a rocky area near Papawai Point.
The post further stated that the PWF team is “working diligently to resolve the situation,” and that a large tow vessel is scheduled to arrive Maui from Oʻahu this afternoon.
A professional salvage team will reportedly attempt to re-float Ocean Odyssey and return her to sea at high tide tomorrow morning, the PWF post stated.
***Correction: Officials had indicated in earlier reports that the vessel struck a reef, however a clarification was issued by the PWF, saying the vessel hit a “submerged rock,” not a reef, during its transit from Maui to Oahu.