Boaters left holding the bag for uninsured vessels - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Boaters left holding the bag for uninsured vessels

Meghan Statts Meghan Statts
Charles Barclay Charles Barclay
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Divers and crew from marine salvage company Sea Engineering spent the day retrieving pieces of the 25-foot sailboat that sank off Magic Island Sunday - the latest uninsured vessel to ground in the state that the state has to pay for.

"It could be anywhere up to $20,000 or more," said Meghan Statts, district manager of DLNR's Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation.

This year there have been 33 boat groundings in Hawaii. More than half the vessels were uninsured boats. The state has paid $95,500 in salvage costs and billed the owners. But the collection rate is next to nothing.

"Some of these people don't have the type of funding to take care of these kinds of situations," Statts said. "We'll move forward. We'll take it to the credit bureau. We'll go after them as best as we possibly can."

But the state must pay the salvage company up front. That cash comes out of the state's boating special fund - money from boat owners' mooring fees, ramp fees and vessel registrations.

The cash could have gone to harbor improvements.

"They may not see it right away, but it leads to things like not replacing lights, or not doing parking lot repairs, or not doing dock repairs. Eventually we as boaters pay for it, and eventually taxpayers pay for it," Kewalo Basin Harbor Master and boat owner Charles Barclay said.

Boaters with mooring permits who dock in state owned facilities must carry boat insurance.

"It's the other boats that are not moored within our facilities that we end up dealing with that don't have the insurance. And when the boat grounds, that comes down to the boaters having to pay for that," Statts said.

She believes requiring all boaters to have insurance and making boater education mandatory could create responsible owners and reduce salvage costs now born by the boating special fund.

Since 2002 the fund has paid $481,218 for groundings of uninsured vessels off Oahu, $886,480 statewide. The salvage of the sailboat off Magic Island just adds to the bill.

 

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved

  • Hawaii News Now headlinesNewsMore>>

  • Suspect confesses in killing of Olympic figure skater

    Suspect confesses in killing of Olympic figure skater

    Friday, July 20 2018 3:16 AM EDT2018-07-20 07:16:16 GMT
    Friday, July 20 2018 8:31 PM EDT2018-07-21 00:31:15 GMT
    (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File). FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2018 file photo, figure skater Denis Ten, of Kazakhstan, reacts as his score is posted following his performance in the men's short program figure skating, in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 201...(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File). FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2018 file photo, figure skater Denis Ten, of Kazakhstan, reacts as his score is posted following his performance in the men's short program figure skating, in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 201...
    Kazakh media says authorities detained one suspect in the killing of Olympic figure skating medalist Denis Ten and are searching for another.More >>
    Kazakh media says authorities detained one suspect in the killing of Olympic figure skating medalist Denis Ten and are searching for another.More >>
  • A wild chase and 2 arrests, but no sign of officer's alleged killer

    A wild chase and 2 arrests, but no sign of officer's alleged killer

    Friday, July 20 2018 8:23 PM EDT2018-07-21 00:23:50 GMT
    Residents reported seeing a gray Toyota Tacoma truck and the driver firing shots at pursuing officers around 6 p.m. Thursday. (Image: Viewer)Residents reported seeing a gray Toyota Tacoma truck and the driver firing shots at pursuing officers around 6 p.m. Thursday. (Image: Viewer)

    A police investigation on the Big Island on Wednesday morning has shut down a portion of Highway 11 in the Mountain View area.

    More >>

    A police investigation on the Big Island on Wednesday morning has shut down a portion of Highway 11 in the Mountain View area.

    More >>
  • Branson mourns for 17 killed in sinking of packed duck boat

    Branson mourns for 17 killed in sinking of packed duck boat

    Friday, July 20 2018 7:26 AM EDT2018-07-20 11:26:30 GMT
    Friday, July 20 2018 8:19 PM EDT2018-07-21 00:19:00 GMT
    (Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP). Emergency responders work at Table Rock Lake after a deadly boat accident in Branson, Mo., Thursday, July 19, 2018. A sheriff in Missouri said a tourist boat has apparently capsized on the lake, leavin...(Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP). Emergency responders work at Table Rock Lake after a deadly boat accident in Branson, Mo., Thursday, July 19, 2018. A sheriff in Missouri said a tourist boat has apparently capsized on the lake, leavin...
    Dive teams will resume searching for five people still missing after a tourist boat capsized and sank in a southwestern Missouri lake.More >>
    Dive teams will resume searching for five people still missing after a tourist boat capsized and sank in a southwestern Missouri lake.More >>
Powered by Frankly