We've Got An Update On The Honolua Yacht Incident - Stab Mag
Photo by Hawai'i State Department Of Land And Natural Resources

We’ve Got An Update On The Honolua Yacht Incident

And it isn’t pretty.

elsewhere // Mar 16, 2023
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A couple weeks ago, you may have seen that the reef at Honolua Bay received an unwelcome addition — in the form of a poorly captained ship.

After speaking with Maui resident Ian Yannel, we’ve got an update on the situation and the extent of the reef damage.

From bow to stern, it sounds like a certified disaster.

“After waiting for calm weather and ocean conditions, the removal team’s tow rope broke.” Ian tells us. “Then they tried with a new rope and realized the tugboat was too small, so they went back to Oahu to get a bigger vessel. Divers finally freed the boat from the reef on March 5th, and on March 7th they towed it away hoping to get it to a Molokai harbor. It then started taking on a lot of water quickly, and at a depth of around 800 feet, it sank down to its final resting place. The whole ordeal has cost us taxpayers north of $400k. Hopefully we get it all recouped from the owner.”

After spending two weeks in heavy surf at Honolua Bay, the boat damaged about 20,000 square feet of reef — or 1,900 square meters.

Ian’s wife is part of a team of divers who saved about 100 pieces of (mostly antler) coral to take back to the Maui Marine Institute. Their goal is to hopefully cultivate and repopulate the damaged coral in Honolua and other areas around Maui.

Might need to hire Sean Doherty to get in there and start fighting people on the beaches.

Or maybe not.

The owner of the boat, Jim Jones, has said that he plans to take full responsibility for the cost of the salvage effort. “We’ve been talking to the DLNR to let them know we’re not leaving them with the bill,” Jones said.

These words have done little to cull the outrage of the local community.

“I feel his actions were extremely irresponsible,” said Maui County Council member Tamara Paltin. “I don’t think he fully understands how special a place Honolua is to so many of us and just how much aggravation he has caused our community.” 


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent


“I’m A West Oz Bogan For Sure, I Just Don’t Have The Mullet”

The first SEOTY entry of 2023 is ‘Into Dust’ ft. Jacob Willcox.

Mar 20, 2023

Warren Smith on New Welcome Rivers Range and Buying Jaguars on Facebook Marketplace  

Now available in the Antipodes...

Mar 20, 2023


Wavegarden Spills How The Sausage Is Made

BTS of their global air wave rollout ft. Yago Dora, Dion Agius, Reef Heazlewood and…

Mar 18, 2023

Minds, Machines, And The Magic Of Hands

How modern shapers split their time between designing files and hand-finishing boards.

Mar 18, 2023


Are Hectic Lefts The Final Finless Frontier?

William Aliotti is on the right-foot-forward fringes.

Mar 17, 2023

Watch: Luke + Eddie

A mostly unknown, on-duty lifeguard won the most prestigious big-wave event in history. How Luke…

Mar 17, 2023


A Pipe Master, Ryan Burch, And Some Pickle Forks On The Eastern Seaboard

This one ticks a lot of boxes

Mar 16, 2023

Brazil Has A Talent Problem

And three other things we learned from the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

Mar 16, 2023


Mick Fanning On A Unicorn, Bags Of Dicks, And A Shocking Script Read By Surfing’s Biggest Stars

Vaughan Blakey and Nick Pollet on their outrageous film, 'The Greatest Surf Movie In The…

Mar 15, 2023

Italo Ferreira Caught 63 Waves In An Hour

And other stats from our Stab in the Dark production.

Mar 15, 2023


Can A Freesurfer Go The Other Way? A Dakoda Walters Case Study

The 57-kilo Aussie has taken a Stab High approach to trad contest surfing.

Mar 15, 2023

Caity Simmers And João Chianca Fulfill Respective Prophecies Under Gaze Of Portuguese President

A very good day of competitive surfing.

Mar 14, 2023

Kelly And Steph Are In Trouble

What's a GOAT gotta do to make the cut around here?

Mar 14, 2023


“I Used To Only Surf Here With One Guy…His Name’s Henry, And He’s A Seal”

A contemplation on the frigid desolation of Iceland.

Mar 14, 2023

World #1 Carissa Moore Vanquished By Front Pad Toting Wildcard, Lucky Few Get Supertubed

‘Go hard or go home, innit’ 

Mar 13, 2023

Hungover Hold-Downs, Patent Feuds, And One-In-A-Million Malfunctions Involving 11x World Champs: The Story Of Surfing’s Inflatable Vests

These things changed the game.

Mar 13, 2023


Parker Coffin Tells Ex: ‘Thank You For Everything’

Freesurfing’s best communicator leaves a classy farewell to Roark.

Mar 13, 2023

Interview: Caity Simmers On Machete Wars, Rihanna, Personal Project Problems, And The Rise Of Female Surf Content. 

A toast to ‘Toasted.’

Mar 13, 2023