Grounded sail boat removed from Hawaii island reef - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Grounded sail boat removed from Hawaii island reef

Grounded Hawaii Aloha Grounded Hawaii Aloha
KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) -  

By Jon Rombaoa

The sailing vessel that was grounded on the Kona Coast of the Big Island earlier this month, Hawaii Aloha, was removed last weekend.

According to an in-water assessment of the area offshore by the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), the grounding of the vessel caused limited resource damage. The DAR team also found debris scattered along the ocean floor, such as pieces of fiberglass, cloth, eating and cooking utensils and personal items.

“The good news is this boat grounded on a bench area, so we didn't expect to see any catastrophic damage to coral reef environments," said Dr. Bill Walsh, the DLNR/DAR aquatic biologist for West Hawaii. "We did see some broken coral heads, but it's impossible to determine whether the boat caused this damage, or they were impacted by the storm that resulted in the boat's grounding.”

The removal of the 75-foot long, 84-ton cement vessel as well as the salvage and debris removal work was conducted by Sea Engineering Inc. under a $150,000 contract from the Department of Land and Natural Resources. 

“Sea Engineering did a good job and they did it quicker than I thought they could do it," said Dan Mersburgh, the acting Hawaii district manager for the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) in Kailua-Kona.

Using a land based excavator, Sea Engineering Inc. dragged the vessel onto the beach, broke it up and dumped it into truck to be disposed at the county landfill. Since Hawaii Aloha's insurance did not cover wreck removal, DLNR/DOBOR prompted a new policy that requires vessels using temporary state moorings to show proof of adequate insurance coverage in the event of an accident or grounding.

“To protect State of Hawaii taxpayers, we want to be sure that all vessels temporarily mooring in Hawaii waters have adequate coverage to cover incidents like this grounding,” said, Ed Underwood, DOBOR administrator. “We are saddened that one man was lost at sea when the Hawaii Aloha grounded during the storm.”

The Hawaii Aloha capsized on the morning of Jan. 3 in stormy seas and ran aground on a reef when sailor Aaron Bremner, 24, was tragically lost at sea. 

Related links:

Coast Guard searches for missing boater off Big Island

Family of missing Big Island sailor relying on faith

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly