The Maui-Lanai Passenger Ferry, operated by Expeditions, resumed interisland service today, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Crews from DLNR’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, or DOBOR, cleared the ferry dock at the Maalaea Small Boat Harbor of ash and debris to accommodate the boat, officials said.
The ferry service usually operates between Lahaina Small Boat Harbor and the Manele Small Boat Harbor on Lanai but DLNR said numerous burned and sunken vessels and debris in the water forced the U.S. Coast Guard to establish a temporary emergency Safety Zone in Lahaina harbor and surrounding waters. No vessels are allowed without Coast Guard approval.
“We had nearly 100 vessels moored in the Lahaina Small Boat Harbor before the fire and now only seven are above water,” DOBOR Administrator Ed Underwood said in a statement. “The U.S. Coast Guard, which currently has jurisdiction over the water, has informed us that it will take some time to restore the ability of ferries to dock there. Fortunately, the new ferry dock at Lahaina is one of the few structures that appears to have withstood the flames.”
Expeditions has told DOBOR that the company expects to offer ferry services on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to provide transportation for service providers and first responders, officials said.