PAIA, Hawaii » A boat that ran aground on Maui three weeks after it was abandoned at sea will be hauled from the beach Friday.
The 49-foot Quantum Leap’s owner, Kona resident Michael Dickerson, planned to use an excavator to lift the vessel off Spreckelsville’s Baby Beach on the north shore of Maui. State agencies are working with him while officials investigate possible reef damage from the wreck.
"We request that the public give this removal operation clear space and keep their distance for safety," said Deborah Ward, spokeswoman for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which met with Dickerson’s contractor to discuss the removal.
Beachgoers gawked at the shipwreck stuck at one end of the protected cove during the weekend, the Maui News reported. "I’ve never seen anything like this in 20 years here," said Denis Nunan of Haiku. "There it is, a ship on the shore in front of the Maui Country Club."
The boat was abandoned after the captain was injured during rough ocean conditions. The three-man crew Dickerson had hired to deliver the boat from California sent out a distress call to the Coast Guard, which coordinated a rescue by a cruise ship.
Dickerson said he had asked the Coast Guard to drop the boat’s anchor to prevent it from running aground. Petty Officer Anthony Soto said he did not have information on whether Dickerson made that request.
Dickerson also claimed he warned the Coast Guard about 10 days ago the boat was nearing the islands, based on estimates from monitoring currents and tradewinds. He said he immediately flew to Maui once he was notified that the boat turned up.