Maui News

Second attempt to free grounded super yacht at Honolua set for today

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  • Salvage operations of Nakoa yacht, Feb. 27, 2023. PC: DLNR Hawaiʻi
  • Salvage operations of Nakoa yacht, Feb. 27, 2023. PC: DLNR Hawaiʻi
  • Salvage operations of Nakoa yacht, Feb. 27, 2023. PC: DLNR Hawaiʻi
  • Salvage operations of Nakoa yacht, Feb. 26, 2023. PC: DLNR Hawaiʻi

Another attempt will be made during high tide later today to pull the grounded luxury yacht, Nakoa, further from shore. The vessel has been grounded for a week just beyond the boundary of the Honolua-Mokulē’ia Marine Life Conservation District.  

On Sunday night salvage crews were able to pull the 120-ton vessel 10-20 feet from shore, but it’s estimated another 20-30 feet of movement seaward will be needed before the yacht is clear of the rocky coastline.

The salvage ship, Kahi, operated by Visionary Marine LLC of Honolulu, made more than a dozen attempts at freeing the boat Sunday afternoon and evening. “Unfortunately, the rigging lines on the Nakoa broke during the final pull. Today, a crew is busy re-rigging the Nakoa with a stronger set of lines,” according to a news release from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.


A tractor tug, the Mary Catherine operated by Sause Bros. Inc., departed Honolulu Harbor this morning, enroute to Maui. Once on scene it will join the Kahi in further attempts to pull the grounded yacht into deeper water. 

Like yesterday, salvage teams will wait until higher tide conditions later today before making additional attempts.  

The Nakoa has no fuel or hazardous materials on board after a defueling operation was completed Saturday afternoon by Sea Engineering Inc., under the direction of the US Coast Guard, and with support from DLNR. 


Since the yacht’s owner declined to pay the $460,000 for retrieval of his boat, the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, by law, assumed control of the vessel and will bill him. The owner of the Nakoa may also face fines for any violations of boating rules and regulations and for any potential damage to reef structures and live rock.

DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers are continuing to staff a roadblock at the top of the dirt road leading into Līpoa Point to ensure community safety until the salvage operation is finished. 


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