08/12/23-MAUI-LĀNAʻI FERRY SERVICE RESUMES FOR COMMUNITY ASSISTANCEPosted on Aug 14, 2023 in Boating, Boating & Ocean Recreations, Main, Media, News Releases
|JOSH GREEN, M.D.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2023
MAUI-LĀNAʻI FERRY SERVICE RESUMES FOR COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE
(MĀʻALAEA SMALL BOAT HARBOR, MAUI) – Today, the Maui-Lānaʻi Passenger Ferry, operated by Expeditions, resumed interisland service.
The DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) worked expeditiously to clear the ferry dock of fire ash and debris at the Māʻalaea Small Boat Harbor to accommodate the ferry.
Typically, it operates between the Lāhainā Small Boat Harbor on Maui and the Manele Small Boat Harbor on Lānaʻi but numerous burned and sunken vessels and debris in the water at Lāhainā Small Boat Harbor led to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) establishing a temporary emergency Safety Zone at the harbor and in surrounding waters with no vessels allowed without USCG approval.
The ferry service is a critical mode of transport, providing access to medical care for Lānaʻi residents, and access between the islands for first responders.
Expeditions has told DOBOR leadership that the company expects to offer ferry services on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to provide transportation for service providers and first responders.
“To the extent the demand is higher from the first responder groups or the community, additional routes will be added,” the company wrote in an e-mail to DOBOR. The Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission was informed of the reinstatement of the Māʻalaea to Manele route and acknowledged the change on Friday.
DOBOR Administrator Ed Underwood said, “We had nearly 100 vessels moored in the Lāhainā Small Boat Harbor before the fire and now only seven are above water. The U.S. Coast Guard, which currently has jurisdiction over the water, has informed us that it will take some time to restore the ability of ferries to dock there. Fortunately, the new ferry dock at Lāhainā is one of the few structures that appears to have withstood the flames.”
DLNR First Deputy Laura Kaakua noted, “The Maui-Lānaʻi Passenger Ferry is a lifeline between the islands and that’s especially true at this time. We’re pleased, that working together, service has been restored and we look forward to the day when the ferry returns to Lāhainā.”
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Senior Communications Manager