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Press Release | Jan. 11, 2024

Coast Guard, partners responding to two grounded vessels off the coast of Maui

HONOLULU --- The Coast Guard continues to respond to vessels that ran aground near Lahaina, Maui on Monday and Sugar Beach, Maui on Tuesday.

The 52-foot sailing vessel Altego II ran aground near the entrance to Lahaina Harbor at 12:20 p.m. on Monday; good Samaritans were able to rescue eight people from the vessel.

The 85-foot motor vessel Chaparral ran aground on Sugar Beach, Maui on Tuesday morning; local authorities arrived on scene and confirmed there were no individuals onboard at the time. The vessel owner was unable to take appropriate action, and the vessel hull became breached early Wednesday morning, resulting in sheening in the water.

“We are working with the vessel owners, who are responsible for taking appropriate actions to mitigate any pollution threats from these vessels; if the owners are not able or are unwilling, then the Coast Guard is able to step in and support the state and county with use of federal funds to remove the pollution, and later seek reimbursement from the owner,” said Cmdr. Kristen Hahn, Sector Honolulu Response department head. “Any operations to remove pollution, owner-led or government-led, can take up to several days to coordinate, to ensure work is conducted appropriately and does not cause further damage to the environment. We, along with our state and local partners, are committed to ensuring the safety of the owners, contractors and public while continuing to safeguard our critical environmental resources.”

The Coast Guard opened a federal funding source at approximately 8:15 a.m. this morning to federalize the case. Contractors arrived on Maui at 2:30 p.m. and commenced operations to remove petroleum products and batteries from the vessel. 

The Coast Guard will continue to ensure all pollution threats are removed from both vessels, and coordinate with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources for oversight of salvage operations.