DLNR News Release-Further Attempts to Free Super Yacht from Maui Reef Set for Late Today

Posted on Feb 27, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

(HONOLUA BAY, MAUI) – The salvage ship, Kahi, operated by Visionary Marine LLC of Honolulu, was successful in moving the 120-ton luxury yacht Nakoa, 10 to 20 feet further from shore late Sunday night. It ran fast aground on the rocky shoreline one week ago, just beyond the boundary of the Honolua-Mokulē’ia Marine Life Conservation District.  

The Kahi made more than a dozen attempts at freeing the boat Sunday afternoon and evening. Unfortunately, the rigging lines on the Nakoa broke during the final pull. Today, a crew is busy re-rigging the Nakoa with a stronger set of lines.  

A tractor tug, the Mary Catherine operated by Sause Bros. Inc., departed Honolulu Harbor this morning, enroute to Maui. Once on scene it will join the Kahi in further attempts to pull the grounded yacht into deeper water. 

Like yesterday, salvage teams will wait until higher tide conditions later today before making additional attempts.  

The Nakoa has no fuel or hazardous materials on board after a successful defueling operation completed Saturday afternoon by Sea Engineering Inc., under the direction of the U.S. Coast Guard, and with support from DLNR. 

Since the yacht’s owner declined to pay the $460,000 for retrieval of his boat, the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), by law, assumed control of the vessel and will bill him. The owner of the Nakoa may also face fines for any violations of boating rules and regulations and for any potential damage to reef structures and live rock. All investigations are underway and DLNR can’t comment further on pending charges or penalties. 

DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officers are continuing to staff a roadblock at the top of the dirt road leading into Līpoa Point to ensure community safety until the salvage operation is finished. 


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(All images/video courtesy: DLNR) 

HD Video – Nakoa salvage operation – Honolua Bay (Feb. 27, 2023):  


Photographs – Nakoa salvage operation – Honolua Bay (Feb. 27, 2023): 


Media Contact:

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Manager 

(808) 587-0396 

[email protected]