The 85-foot-long Messenger of Peace ran aground off Sugar Beach in South Maui after high winds broke its moorings on Saturday.

State may seize
stranded ‘Perfect
Storm’ vessel

The religious group that owns it
lacks the money to salvage it

By Gary T. Kubota

WAILUKU >> A former swordfishing vessel that survived the high ocean waves that were the basis of the film "The Perfect Storm" experienced rough sea conditions off Maui as well.

Government officials and a private tugboat company, which tried to pull the 85-foot-long vessel off a reef at Sugar Beach in South Maui last night, resumed their effort this morning. The vessel was stuck on the reef in about 6 feet of water, about 20 yards from shore and may not be pulled out until high tide this morning, its captain, Jeffrey Wood, said.

Wood said the vessel was formerly known as the Corey Pride, out of Gloucester, Mass., and is mentioned in the book "The Perfect Storm." The novel, which was made into a movie, described 100-foot waves in October 1991, and the disappearance of the swordfishing boat Andrea Gail. "It (Corey Pride) made it in ahead of most vessels," he said.

Wood said that since 1997, the ship, now known as the Messenger of Peace, has been used by J.C. Ministries for conducting nondenominational Christian and humanitarian missions to remote Polynesian islands and atolls in the Pacific.

He said the crew, made up of volunteers and indigenous islanders learning seamanship, was scheduled to visit about 300 islands in Fiji at the invitation of a Fijian church council.

U.S. Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Tim Wilcox said a representative of the religious group told the Coast Guard yesterday that it had no insurance and could not afford to pull the vessel off the reef. He said the state has to pay for the tow.

The state may seize the ship to pay for the tow, Wood said.

Crew members from the tugboat American Quest out of Honolulu were securing lines to the vessel yesterday.

United States Coast Guard

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