Salvage of luxury yacht from Honolua delayed again, this time by weather
After two failed attempts to free a grounded yacht from the rocky shoreline at Honolua Bay, salvage efforts have hit another snag–this time due to inclement weather and rough seas.
“Heavy seas, pounding rain, and gusty winds are making it unsafe” for salvage crews to return to Maui at this time, according to a state news release.
The salvager, contracted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation returned to O‘ahu late Monday to retrieve stronger rigging after the one attached to the yacht, Nakoa, failed during salvage efforts Monday night.
“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 DOBOR Administrator Ed Underwood in the release.
Underwood said, at this time, it’s expected the salvage ship Kahi, operated by Visionary Marine LLC, will return to Maui on Friday or Saturday. After the rigging, being pulled by the Sause Brothers Inc. tractor tug Mary Catherine, failed, both it and the Kahi traveled back to Honolulu.
Officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement continue to maintain an around-the-clock presence at the entrance to the dirt track at Līpoa Point for public safety.
Salvage crews managed to pull the 120-ton vessel 10-20 feet from shore during an earlier attempt Sunday night, but it’s estimated another 20-30 feet of movement seaward would be needed before the yacht is clear of the rocky coastline.
The Nakoa yacht has been grounded since Feb. 20, 2023, just beyond the boundary of the Honolua-Mokulē’ia Marine Life Conservation District.