HONOLULU (AP) — A boat that washed ashore in Hawaii last week has been identified as belonging to a California mariner who ran into trouble while sailing from San Diego to Guadalupe, Mexico, seven months ago.
The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed the owner of the boat sent a distress call on Dec. 12, 2022, KHON-TV reported. He was rescued, and his boat was left behind.
After drifting thousands of miles, the boat found its way Friday to Punaluu on Oahu’s windward coast, where it has been laying on its side on white sand and rocks.
The 24-foot boat, which has a California sticker, has been stripped of its anchor, engine and much of its insides.
The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said the boat isn’t leaking any fuel or oil. The agency contacted the boat’s owner, who told the state he has no way to remove the vessel.
The Coast Guard said their priority during a rescue is human life, and it’s protocol to leave vessels behind. Owners, however, are liable for the boats.
The state said it has found a bidder who will remove the boat from the beach. Once it’s removed, the state will send the bill to the boat’s owner.
Terry Galpin, who lives nearby on the northeastern shore of Oahu, said she is concerned about safety hazards.
“If it was further out, I think it would still be an environmental issue. But this is a calling card for kids to play on,” she said.