Hawaii to remove stranded ship’s resting feet from sacred Hauola stone – KESQ

By Michelle Watson and David Williams, CNN

Authorities in Hawaii seized a motorboat that had been floating just feet away from a sacred site on Maui known as the Hauola Stone.

Officials told the boat owner that they are taking control of the 56-foot motor boat, called the Kuuipo, to “avoid damaging a culturally significant site,” the Hawaii Department of Lands and Natural Resources said. he said in a Facebook post on Saturday.. The department’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, known as DOBOR, is “immediately engaging a contractor to move the vessel to a safe location,” the department said.

The incident began on March 8 when the ship ran aground on the north side of the Lāhainā boat harbor. The boat’s owner, Vernon Ray Lindsey, of Wailuku, told government personnel he was hiring a salvage company to remove the boat, and was told he couldn’t take the boat anywhere near Hauola Stone, the boat said. department.

However, the division learned Saturday that the boat had been refloated about 8 feet from the rock, the department said.

“You are hereby notified that in order to protect this culturally significant site, as well as to protect natural resources…the State of Hawaii, through DOBOR, will immediately take control of Kuuipo,” the deputy administrator wrote in a letter. from DOBOR, Meghan Statts. to Lindsey.

The Hauola Stone is a chair-shaped stone found on the west coast of Maui that has been used as a birthplace for royalty and a healing place for the sick for centuries, according to a study. sign posted at the location.

“The Hauola stone is where the Pi’ilani ali’i line of Maui gave birth to their children. It is a sacred site,” said the deputy director of the department of natural resources, Laura Kaakua, in a statement. “DLNR did not allow the owner to take his boat anywhere near the stone, and specifically ordered the owner to stay away from the cultural site.

“Most boat owners are responsible, but the recent actions of a few have damaged Hawaii’s natural and cultural resources. The damage to our reefs and farm sites is unacceptable. DLNR is exploring ways to enforce responsible ownership to protect our marine environment.”

Unauthorized persons trying to access the boat could face trespassing charges, and the owner is responsible “for all costs and expenses associated with removal and disposal,” Statts said.

The owner could also be liable for damage to coral or live rock caused by the boat being grounded, the department said.

The CNN Wire
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CNN’s Eric Levenson contributed to this report.

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