Lahaina Port Closed Briefly After Boat Runs Aground

HONOLULU – The Coast Guard Captain of the Port for Hawaii closed the Port of Lahaina temporarily after a tour boat ran aground blocking the channel. The 65-foot catamaran Ocean Discovery, with 62 people aboard, ran aground but was later safely removed from the channel. Lahaina harbor was closed for about two hours while the Ocean Discovery was assessed for damage then towed to the pier; the channel was reopened before 11 a.m.

The Coast Guard Cutter Ahi was dispatched after Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received a distress call at 8:10 a.m. from the master of the Ocean Discovery reporting that the vessel had run aground 50 yards offshore in Lahaina Harbor.

Another tour boat in the area, the Blue Dolphin, was able to safely transfer all of the Ocean Discovery’s passengers and crew to the pier. The Blue Dolphin’s crew transported the other passengers in groups of about 20 back to the pier until everyone was safely ashore.

Rescue crews from the cutter Ahi and Coast Guard Station Maui provided a safety zone around the two vessels as the passengers were transfered between boats. A Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point monitored the transfer of crew.

All 62 passengers were taken to Lahaina Pier and no injuries were reported.

The Ocean Discovery, an ecotour boat from the Pacific Whale Foundation, was towed into Lahaina by another Good Samaritan vessel.

There is no report of pollution. Personnel from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu will investigate the cause of the grounding.

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