Salvage of the grounded vessel, Kuuipo, began today with the placement of large sandbags between the boat and the Hauola stone (birthing stone), located less than eight-feet away.
The boat grounded on March 8, 2023. Ten days later the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation informed the vessel’s owner, that DOBOR was taking control of the boat and would hire a contractor to move it to a safe location.
State officials say they informed the Wailuku man who owns the boat to stay well away from the stone due to its historical and cultural significance, but later learned that a contractor hired by the man refloated the Kuuipo, and brought it to its current location near the birthing stone, according to a DLNR news release.
This morning cultural practitioner Ke‘eaumoku Kapu and his wife Uilani stood watch as the sandbags were put into position. “To Hawaiians, Hauola stone carries the same kind of significance that Plymouth Rock had to America’s first settlers. A silver lining to this grounding is that it’s brought needed attention to Hauola and our desire to educate and inform people about its cultural significance.”
This is the only birthing stone on Maui that’s in the water. In pre-contact times, ʻaliʻi (royalty) gathered around the stone when a chiefess was giving birth.
DLNR contacted Kapu to get advice on how to protect the stone during a salvage operation, expected to last as long as three days.
“We’re just here to monitor and support the salvage plan,” Kapu said.
Today, the salvage crew pulled the boat parallel to the seawall. This afternoon the salvage crew from D&D Towing is cutting the cabin from the boat.
On Thursday they plan to lift what remains of the vessel onto shore where it will be trucked away.
Original source: https://mauinow.com/2023/05/02/salvage-begins-of-grounded-vessel-near-culturally-significant-birthing-stone-in-lahiana/