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State removes sailboat from Big Island reef

  • CESAR LAURE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISERJohn Berg's sailboat "Seaquel" sits aground at Maka'eo recreational area (the site of the Old Kona Airport).  Berg
    CESAR LAURE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
    John Berg's sailboat "Seaquel" sits aground at Maka'eo recreational area (the site of the Old Kona Airport). Berg

The state has removed a 40-foot sailboat from a Big Island reef where it ran aground over the weekend.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Thursday it will attempt to collect removal costs from the sailboat’s owner, who is from California. The state plans to dispose of the SEQUEL by Friday.

The ship ran aground off the Old Kona Airport park at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday. The department wanted to move the boat quickly to prevent further damage to the reef.

The department stepped in to remove the boat because the owner didn’t have vessel insurance and couldn’t afford to salvage it.

The state doesn’t plan to cite the owner.

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