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5 rescued after yacht runs aground off Lanai


    Maui firefighters respond Saturday to a 42-foot yacht that ran aground off Lanai.

Maui firefighters rescued five people Saturday after the yacht they were on ran aground off Lanai.

The owner of the yacht, an 80-year-old Kaanapali man, was cruising along the island’s east coast when the boat ended up on the reef about 3 p.m., said Maui Fire Department spokesman Edward Taomoto. The man’s wife, his daughter in her 50s, and a couple visiting Maui were also on board at the time.

The Coast Guard notified firefighters of the grounding and requested assistance about 3:10 p.m., Taomoto said.

Firefighters found the 42-foot motor yacht from Lahaina stuck on the reef about 300 yards from shore and about a mile northwest of Club Lanai.

A Coast Guard 45-foot response boat also responded, but shallow waters prevented the vessel from getting close to the yacht.

Taomoto said firefighters swam to the yacht from shore and then swam a couple in their 70s back to shore. A fire department helicopter picked up the remaining occupants and took them to shore. No one was injured.

The yacht owner’s friend picked up the boaters in a private boat at Manele Small Boat Harbor and took them back to Lahaina.

Taomoto said the yacht’s hull did not appear damaged and no fuel or oil was seen leaking when fire crews left Saturday. The owner will work with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to remove the vessel.

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