Sailboat Sinks Off Waikiki – Removal Begins Today

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) has hired marine salvage company Sea Engineering to begin removal of a 26-foot sailboat that sank on Sunday in nearshore waters off the Elks Club. State officers are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the boat’s sinking.

Sea Engineering has begun mobilizing today but will not begin work on site until early tomorrow morning so that it can better assess a forecast of increased surf. Precautions will be taken to maximize safety while minimizing the potential for damage to the reef. The vessel will be relocated to Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor, where it will be inspected by staff and then disposed of by the contractor. Cost of removal to the state is estimated at $21,750.

On Friday afternoon, DLNR was notified of the vessel’s presence between 80 and 100 yards from shore in waters 12- to 14-feet deep. A DLNR enforcement officer and biologist responded on Saturday. State boating laws allows boats to anchor up to 72 hours in a location without a mooring permit. At the time, the vessel was not grounded, but the anchor line was found to have been wrapped around live rock and coral, causing concern for reef damage. As a result, the state began the process of notifying the owner to remove the vessel. At the time, the vessel was otherwise afloat and appeared to be sitting fine in the water above a substrate of small corals, rubble and sand.

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