Sailboat off Kauai removed, impounded after causing reef damage

Local News

FILE – A 29-foot sailboat after removal from the South Shore Ocean Recreation Management Area, Kauai, Hawaii, May 18, 2021. (DLNR photo)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Officials with three Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) divisions conducted an operation on Tuesday, May 18, to remove an illegally moored, unattended sailboat from the South Shore Ocean Recreation Management Area (ORMA) on Kauai. 

Personnel with the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) were involved in the operation.

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According to the DLNR, the 29-foot vessel was left in the ORMA for over 72 hours and did not have a permit from DOBOR. Permits are required from the DOBAR by Hawaii State statute and Hawaii Administrative Rules.

The boat had reportedly been moored in a coral basin area and DLNR officials say it “had been dragging its anchor over the reef,” for about 100 yards. A DOBOR administrator says the DLNR divisions took swift action to prevent further damage.

“Along with our assistant administrator Meghan Statts and Kaua‘i DOBOR Branch Manager Jeremiah Aguilera, we decided to take swift and decisive action to have this vessel removed as quickly as possible to prevent further and irreparable damage in the ORMA.”

Ed Underwood, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation administrator

The operation was conducted after expert input and consultation from Kauai branch chief Brad ‘Kipi’ Akana and DAR aquatic biologist heather Ylitalo-Ward. The vessel was impounded and secured for disposition, according to DLNR officials, while the anchor was removed from the reef.

DLNR officials say the sailboat was registered to Catherine Robinson.

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