Hawaii removes the feet of a beached boat from the sacred stone of Hauola


Officials in Hawaii have seized a motorboat that was floating just yards from a sacred Maui site known as the Hauola Stone.

Officials told the owner of the boat that they were taking control of the stranded 56ft motorboat, named Kuuipo, to ‘avoid damage to a culturally significant site’, the Department of Lands and Resources said on Saturday. of Hawaii in a post on Facebook. The department’s Boating and Ocean Recreation Division, known as DOBOR, is “immediately hiring a contractor to move the vessel to a safe location,” the department said.

The incident began on March 8 when the boat ran aground on the north side of Lāhainā boat harbour. Boat owner Vernon Ray Lindsey of Wailuku told government staff he was hiring a salvage company to remove the boat, and he was told he could not bring the boat near the Hauola Stone , the department said.

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

“You are hereby notified that in order to protect this culturally significant site as well as protect natural resources…the State of Hawai’i, through DOBOR, is immediately assuming control of Kuuipo,” DOBOR Deputy Administrator Meghan Statts wrote in a letter. at Lindsey.

The Hauola Stone is a chair-shaped stone along Maui’s west coast that has been used as a birthplace for royalty and a healing site for the sick over the centuries, according to a sign posted at the location.

“The Hauola Stone is where the Pi’ilani ali’i lineage of Maui gave birth to their children. It is a sacred site,” Department of Natural Resources Deputy Director Laura Kaakua said in a statement. “The DLNR did not allow the owner to bring his boat near the stone and specifically ordered the owner to stay away from the cultural site.

“The majority of boat owners are responsible, but the recent actions of a few have harmed Hawaii’s natural and cultural resources. Damage to our reefs and culture sites is unacceptable. DLNR is exploring ways to enforce responsible ownership to protect our ocean environment.

Unauthorized persons attempting to gain access to 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 corals or live rock, due to the boat running aground, the department said.


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