5 rescued from yacht stuck on reef

The Maui News

Crews helped five people to shore Saturday afternoon after their 42-foot motor yacht ran aground off the east coast of Lanai, a fire official said.

Lanai firefighters received a call from the U.S. Coast Guard at 3:10 p.m. Saturday requesting assistance with a vessel that was grounded on the reef about a mile northwest of Club Lanai, said Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto. Firefighters arrived on the scene at 4:19 p.m. and found the yacht stuck on the reef about 300 yards from shore.

A 45-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Maui traveled to the scene but could not get close enough to the grounded vessel because of shallow water, Taomoto said.

Firefighters swam to the vessel from shore and found two men and three women aboard the yacht named “Tiara My Sue.” Two people in their 70s were assisted back to shore by firefighters, Taomoto said. The Fire Department’s Air One helicopter airlifted the remaining two women and the yacht’s male owner off of the boat and delivered them to shore at 5:30 p.m. There were no injuries.

The five individuals were then transported by Lanai fire crews to Manele Harbor, where they were picked up by a friend in a private boat and returned to Maui.

The owner of the yacht, an 80-year-old man from Kaanapali, had been cruising Lanai’s eastern shore along with his wife, a daughter in her 50s and a couple in their 70s when the boat ended up on the reef, Taomoto said.

The yacht’s hull did not appear to be damaged and no fluids were observed leaking when crews left the scene Saturday evening, he said. The owner will coordinate with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources on the removal of the vessel from the reef.