09/12/23-OWNERS OF LARGELY UNDAMAGED VESSELS VISIT LĀHAINĀ SMALL BOAT HARBORPosted on Sep 13, 2023 in Boating, Boating & Ocean Recreations, Main, Media, News Releases, slider
|JOSH GREEN, M.D.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2023
OWNERS OF LARGELY UNDAMAGED VESSELS VISIT LĀHAINĀ SMALL BOAT HARBOR
(LĀHAINĀ, HAWAI‘I) – Always mindful of the human toll and property destruction around them, 13 owners of vessels moored in the Lāhainā Small Boat Harbor were granted access Monday to check on their boats.
After receiving permission from Maui County and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) escorted the owners, in two groups, to the harbor.
Most of the 13 boats, as well as the pier they’re tied to, appear to be largely untouched by the flames of August 8. One boat, the Reel Luckey, the last name of its owners, is a metaphor for the line of white vessels, still afloat in stark contrast to the blackened landscape, buildings, and harbor structures.
Kelli Lundgren owns the sailboat Lazy Daze. “I would definitely call them the lucky thirteen. We’re still trying to analyze how that firestorm missed these boats. It’s just incredible. As you can see there’s a lot of soot on them. We’ve been anxious for four weeks to get here. We’re happy our vessels survived, as so many of our friends lost their boats here. It’s quite tragic.”
The owners were permitted to board their vessels, do light maintenance, and retrieve personal items. There is no immediate timeline as to when the boats might be able to leave the harbor.
With 99 moorings in the harbor prior to the fire, most boats either burned or sank, and the water is filled with their hulls and other debris obstructing passage.
A Unified Command with the Coast Guard, Hawaii Department of Health, and DLNR is working in close cooperation with the County of Maui to prepare plans for salvage operations to restore the harbor and provide safe passage.
In the middle of the inner harbor, away from the line of thirteen boats, Jim Walsh, the general manager of Atlantis Submarine Adventures, was thrilled when the engines on the company’s scorched passenger ferry started right up.
The stern of the 55-foot-long Holokai was scorched but Walsh said, “We’re happy to see her. When I saw the condition the engine room was in, it was perfect, nothing the matter with it at all. Once I saw that I said, ‘Man we’ve got a good chance here.’ Sure enough she fired up just like that.” He snapped his fingers and thrust his fist into the air and exclaimed, “Yeah!”
Off-shore and in view from the Holokai, is the company’s 48-passenger, bright blue Atlantis submarine. Images of it have been seen worldwide and Walsh expects it is a total loss.
Back among the “Lucky 13,” Lundgren says it was gratifying to confirm what she and the other owners saw the day after the smoke cleared. “Aerial shots showed the harbor with smoke coming out over it, and there’s this line of white at this end of the harbor. I just couldn’t believe it. It was amazing.”
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(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)
HD video – Boat owners visit Lāhainā Small Boat Harbor (Sept. 11, 2023):
Photographs – Boat owners visit Lāhainā Small Boat Harbor (Sept. 11, 2023):