Monday, Aug. 15, 2022 |
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LIHUE — Not even Serenity can overcome high surf.
As the waves off Hanalei Bay fired up Monday night, a 33-foot vessel named Serenity got caught in the fury, landing awash on the west side of the bay, in the rocks near the Waikoko surf break.
Earlier in the evening, Serenity owner Randy Perez had been aboard the vessel heading out of the bay when the motor died, according to the Kauai boating manager for the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation. Perez hoisted the sail, but the sail tore, so he let the boat drift back into the bay and dropped anchor.
That’s when the roaring surf broke the vessel’s mooring and washed Serenity into the rocks. A hole was ripped in the port side of the hull.
A firefighter responding to the incident entered the water with a surfboard and located Perez, still in good condition, aboard the vessel. Perez was then injured while trying to get off the boat. The firefighter used the surfboard to paddle him back to shore.
Medics transported Perez to Wilcox Memorial Hospital.
On Tuesday morning, DLNR’s Kauai boating manager spoke with Perez, who said he did not have insurance nor plan to remove the his vessel within 24 hours, per the law, and that he needed to address his injury, a spokesperson for DLNR said.
DLNR’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation has assumed control of the vessel and obtained bids for its removal. A salvage company will remove and dispose of it once the surf subsides, which is expected to happen this weekend.
“This is the third boat I’ve seen sink now this fall in the big surf in Hanalei,” said Hanalei resident Terry Lilley, who photographed the wreckage Tuesday afternoon. “These big swells are taking these boats out right and left.”
Lilley said the woman featured in the accompanying photo he captured had been attempting to take pictures of the boat when a wave knocked her down and almost slammed her against the boat. She escaped safely.
“The surf has been unreal,” Lilley said.
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