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Rescue Crews Respond to Distressed Yacht off Lanai

Maui Fire Department crews assisted five people to shore after their 42-foot motor yacht, the “Tiara My Sue,” ran aground on Lanai’s east shore Saturday afternoon.

Lanai firefighters received a call from the U.S. Coast Guard at 3:10 p.m. requesting assistance with a vessel that grounded on the reef about a mile northwest of Club Lanai.

Firefighters arrived at 4:19 p.m. and found the motor yacht stuck on the reef about 300 yards from shore.

A 45-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Maui arrived on scene but could not get close enough to the grounded vessel because of shallow waters.

Firefighters on shore swam out to the vessel and found two men and three women onboard. They swam a couple in their 70s back to shore. The fire department’s Air-1 helicopter airlifted two women and the male owner off of the yacht, and delivered them safely to crews on shore at 5:30 p.m. There were no injuries.

Lanai firefighters transported the five individuals to the Manele small boat harbor. The yacht owner’s friend arrived from Maui in a private boat and gave them a lift back to Lahaina.

The owner of the yacht, an 80-year-old man from Kaanapali, Maui had been cruising Lanai’s eastern shore along with his wife, a daughter in her 50s, and a couple visiting Maui in their 70s, when they somehow ended up on the reef.

The yacht’s hull did not appear to be damaged and no fuel or oil were observed leaking when crews left the scene Saturday. The owner will coordinate with the Department of Land and Natural Resources on the removal of the vessel from the reef. The vessel is homeported in Lahaina, Maui.

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