Fire crews respond to sailboat adrift

Crews on Friday responded to reports of a sailboat adrift off West Maui, a fire official said.

The 25-foot sailboat was reported adrift at 8:15 a.m. off Pohaku Park, better known as “S-Turns,” in Kahana, said Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto.

Napili firefighters arrived on the scene at 8:23 a.m. and spotted the sailboat about a mile offshore with no one visible on board, Taomoto said. A rescue watercraft from D.T. Fleming Beach Park and a rescue boat from Lahaina responded after it was discovered that someone had paddled out on a surfboard to reach the drifting vessel.

Crews found the male on the surfboard as he reached the vessel, Taomoto said. The 22-year-old Lahaina man, who is the boat’s owner, started the sailboat’s auxiliary motor and moved it back to its mooring at Mala Wharf, Taomoto said.

The boat’s owner said that he discovered his vessel missing from its mooring spot at Mala Wharf on Thursday night and thought that someone had stolen it. A friend contacted him Friday morning that his sailboat was seen adrift off S-Turns.