Coast Guard investigating vessel groundings in Maui during heavy weather

National Weather Service LogoHONOLULU – The Coast Guard is investigating the grounding of two vessels in Maui after one was pushed onto a shoal and another broke free of its mooring and hit a reef during heavy weather, Monday.

Coast Guardsmen at Marine Safety Team Maui received a call at approximately 5 p.m. that the Expeditions IV, a ferry that runs between Lahaina and Lana’i, briefly grounded while transiting the Lahaina Harbor channel. The master of the Expeditions IV reported that the vessel grounded on a shoal after being lifted by a swell. The crew was able to navigate the vessel back to its mooring. All of the passengers and crew returned to shore unharmed. The vessel is temporarily out of service and will need to undergo a Coast Guard inspection before resuming operations.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu also received a report at 6:30 p.m. that a 46-foot, catamaran broke loose from its mooring at Lahaina Small Boat harbor, drifted approximately 100 yards and grounded on a reef. There was no one aboard when the vessel grounded. No pollution has been reported as a result of the grounding. A member from MST Maui is currently overseeing the salvage of the vessel and the removal of potential sources of pollution. Boom has been placed around the vessel, although no sheen has been observed. A vessel salvage and fuel removal plan is being developed between the owner and the Coast Guard Incident Management Division.

“The National Weather Service is predicting that another front will sweep through the Hawaiian Islands later this week. To help avoid potential incidents, all boaters, harbor facility personnel, and professional mariners should take time out to ensure their vessels and harbors are prepared for heavy weather operations,” said Cmdr. Jason Neubauer, Sector Honolulu chief of prevention.

During times of heavy weather the Coast Guard recommends mariners take additional steps to secure vessels while in port by doubling-up, lengthening and adding additional mooring lines. Mariners should ensure automatic bilge pumps are operational and that all loose items are secured or removed. Mariners should always check local weather and sea conditions prior to getting underway and should avoid operating in heavy weather when possible.

When operations are necessary, the Coast Guard recommends filing a float plan with the harbor master or a responsible adult prior to departure. The plan should include the date and time of departure, the estimated date and time of return and the intended destination. A detailed float plan helps to ensure that search and rescue assets are dispatched in a timely manner when boaters fail to return on schedule. More information on float plans and boating safety can be found at the following link:

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