Fish netting causes boat to “beach” on reef

Arnold Serota’s plans for a day of fishing were disrupted yesterday when his boat became lodged on a reef near Kealia Beach.

Serota’s boat stopped around 12:30 in the afternoon, after roughly six 1/2 hours of fishing.

“I had a couple friends in their own boats try to pull me out of the surf, but the surf had pretty much picked up the boat and pushed me onto the reef,” he said.

“I was nervous because the surf was coming in fairly strongly, and I was worried the boat would flip over.”

With that in mind, he put on his life jacket and got off the boat, he said.

Though he initially thought he had run out of gas, after bringing the boat to shore, Serota realized fish netting and line had gotten caught up in the boat, overheating it and causing it to shut off.

Serota discovered the reason for his boat’s failure after he, his wife, Angela, and about a half-dozen ad hoc emergency volunteers helped bail out the boat and bring it to shore around 4:30 p.m.

Though he didn’t catch all of their names, “Big Joe” Rapozo, of Anahola, was one of them, Serota said.

“These guys were angels, I’m telling you — they really saved me.” he said.

The “good Samaritans” helped turn the boat away from the surf so it wouldn’t keep filling with water. After that, his wife went and grabbed bails to lighten the boat and keep it afloat.

Firefighters and lifeguards from Kapa‘a, emergency responders from the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Coast Guard were called out to the scene around 12:45 p.m. yesterday, Mary Daubert, county spokeswoman, said.

However, after realizing there were no injuries, they left, Serota said.

Though the damage comes after Serota had just had his 18-foot Bass Tracker boat repaired, the day wasn’t a complete loss for the captain.

“I did catch one mahi,” he said.

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