Capsized boat back with captain

LIHUE — The Kauai fisherman whose boat capsized in high surf Sunday evening while he was trying to return to Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor in Kekaha managed to get the half-sunken vessel back to his house the following day.

Zack Romanak said he was driving through Kekaha Monday evening when he spotted a large number of cars parked near Davidson’s beach.

“Next thing you know we see my boat upside down,” he said.

A large number of community members helped Romanak hook the boat to his truck and drag it onto the beach. He then paid someone $600 to lift the boat off the sand and onto his trailer with a crane.

“It was amazing,” he said of all the helping hands.

Romanak said there was minimal damage to the hull and cab, but that the engines experienced salt water damage. While he considered the 19-foot Alii Kai a great boat — one he was “just getting dialed in” and a new boat owner — Romanak said he will likely end up getting something else, perhaps bigger and safer.

Romanak, his 10-year-old son Noah and a guest, Brad Warren, managed to swim ashore in the middle of the night after spending four hours on the capsized vessel off the Westside Sunday. The three had been fishing near Niihau earlier in the day and Romanak was attempting to make his way back into the harbor when a large wave hit the rear end, twisting it sideways and filling it with water, and throwing him and his passengers into the ocean.

Warren broke his femur in three places, as well as his prosthetic hip. He is scheduled to undergo surgery at Wilcox Memorial Hospital Sunday.

Romanak said the boat was not important, only that everyone made it out alive.

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