LAHAINA - Beginning this morning, a salvage company will work to remove a 35-foot sailboat from Victoria, Canada, that broke free and went aground early this week on the reef outside the Lahaina Small Boat Harbor, state Department of Land and Natural Resources officials announced Friday.
The cost for Parker Marine to remove the vessel will be covered by Progressive Insurance, officials said. The boat's owner hired Parker Marine for the job.
Today, the salvage company will secure heavy lines to the vessel and its mast, and by this afternoon, begin hauling the boat in with a winch to nearby Kamehameha Iki Beach Park.
Surfers venture near a 35-foot sailboat that went aground this week outside the Lahaina Small Boat Harbor. A salvage company will begin removing the boat today, and ocean users are being asked to stay clear of the area.
Department of Land and Natural Resources / NICHOLAS GIACONI photo
To prevent further damage to the offshore coral reef, Parker Marine plans to move the boat to shore with successive high tides and lift it up with a crane onto a flatbed truck to haul away, officials said. Work may continue through the weekend.
"We are asking surfers, paddlers and other ocean users to keep well away from the boat and nearshore areas during salvage operations, for their safety and that of the salvage workers," said Nicholas Giaconi, the Maui District boating manager.
The DLNR's Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers will monitor the ocean areas. Also, Maui police officers will be on hand to watch beach areas.
Earlier this week, PENCO was hired by the owner of the vessel to remove an estimated 150 gallons of fuel, state officials said. That work was monitored by state boating and U.S. Coast Guard personnel.
After the boat is removed, state aquatic biologists will survey the grounding site to assess reef damage, according to DLNR officials.
The vessel broke free from its location at the Lahaina Yacht Club mooring either Sunday evening or Monday morning, then came ashore on the reef, the department reported.