Maui News

Rigging attached to grounded yacht on Maui fails during second salvage attempt

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Nakoa salvage update. Feb. 27, 2023. PC: DLNR Hawaiʻi
VC: DLNR Hawaiʻi

The rigging attached to a grounded luxury yacht off of Maui’s Honolua Bay, failed during a second salvage attempt Monday night, state officials said.

The contractor headed back to Oʻahu last night to resupply with stronger rigging. Wednesday is the earliest salvage operations will resume, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The vessel has been grounded for more than 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.

A second effort to free the Nakoa from the rocky shoreline was conducted during high tide on Monday night. At 6:20 p.m. a tractor tug boat from Sause Brothers Inc., Oʻahu began trying to free the vessel and managed to turn the boat 90 degrees so that the bow of the yacht was facing the stern of the tug. Several hours later, state officials reported that the yacht rigging failed.

The salvage ship, Kahi, operated by Visionary Marine LLC of Honolulu, was joined by tractor tug, the Mary Catherine operated by Sause Bros. Inc. for the operation as they attempt to pull the grounded yacht into deeper water. 


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.


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