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Ala Wai channel closed; rough seas delay sailboat salvage

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:36 a.m. HST, Oct 24, 2012

Rough sea conditions today forced state boating authorities to postpone attempts to raise a 25-foot sailboat from the Ala Wai channel.

Meghan Statts, Oahu district manager of the state boating division, said the state Department of Land and Natural Resources plans to hire a salvage contractor Thursday to try to recover the sailboat, which sank in the Ala Wai channel next to Magic Island earlier this week,

The sailboat was last seen illegally moored off Magic Island Monday afternoon.

Statts said the owner of the boat had been cited Oct. 18 and warned that the vessel was going to be impounded since he had failed to pay mooring fees at Keehi boat harbor.

Only the sailboat’s mast is protruding above the waves, a news release from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said.

The channel was closed today since state boating officials were unable to mark the location of the sunken vessel with a light or buoy because of the rough ocean conditions.

Oceangoers should stay clear of the vessel during salvage and cleanup, and are warned of a possible increase of marine debris in the channel and nearshore waters of Waikiki and Ala Moana. Mariners may want to temporarily moor at nearby boat harbors, DLNR suggests.

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