Coast Guard rescues 25 after tour boat runs aground in Maui

HONOLULU – Coast Guardsmen from Station Maui assisted in the rescue of 25 passengers aboard a grounded tour boat near La Perouse Bay, Maui, Sunday.

Watchstanders in the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received a signal from an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon registered to the 30-foot tour boat Kanaloa at 8:26 a.m. The vessel’s information was passed to watchstanders at Sector Honolulu, who contacted the Kanaloa crew over VHF channel 16.

Station Maui crewmembers launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium at 8:52 a.m. and arrived on the scene at 9:29 a.m.

The crew aboard the motor vessel Kanaloa backed into a cave along the waterfront in the bay and were pushed up against the rock walls by the waves, causing damage to the front right side of the boat and one of the engines on the rear. The 30-foot sister ship, Pineapple Express, was also on scene to render assistance and escort the Kanaloa. None of the passengers reported any injuries and all of them had lifejackets on. No pollution was reported. The company owner also arrived on scene in his own 30-foot fishing vessel to render assistance.

After the crew of the Kanaloa navigated out of the cave, five passengers were transferred to the Pineapple Express at 9:45 a.m. Two crewmembers went aboard the fishing vessel and the remaining 18 passengers were transferred to the RBM at 9:49 a.m. The 30-foot fishing vessel safely towed the Kanaloa back to Kihei Boat Ramp.

All passengers disembarked the RBM at approximately 12:08 p.m. The Kanaloa was moored at the pier at approximately 12:25 p.m.

“This is a good example of why EPIRBs are essential to mariners,” said Andrew J. Statham, a boatswain’s mate from Station Maui. “Having this aboard significantly increased the Coast Guard’s response time and allowed us to get to them and render assistance quickly.”

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