Hōkūleʻa Damaged, Returning to O‘ahu

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The Polynesian Voyaging Society announced that Hōkūleʻa will return to Oʻahu from Hawaiʻi Island earlier than scheduled due to damage to the canoe’s hulls that will need to be repaired immediately.

While sailing to Kawaihae on April 29, 2018, to continue the Mahalo, Hawaiʻi Sail, Hōkūleʻa’s crew experienced some difficulty and the canoe went aground, causing damage to the the canoe’s hulls.

No crew members were injured during the incident.

Hōkūleʻa. PC: Sam Low, Volcano Art Center.

Although there is damage to the bottom of the hulls, initial assessment by leadership concludes it is safe to bring the voyaging canoe back to O‘ahu for the needed repairs. She will be returning to Oʻahu Tuesday, May 1, 2018, to begin drydock repairs immediately at METC on Sand Island this week. Due to the early departure from Kawaihae Harbor, all school and public canoe tours will be postponed until further notice.


The canoe was scheduled to be docked at Kawaihae Harbor until May 10, 2018.

Hōkūleʻa is a living, cultural treasure and it is our responsibility to make sure we mālama her with the care she needs at this time,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of Polynesian Voyaging Society. “We will be leaving Kawaihae tomorrow with a promise that we’re going to heal Hōkūleʻa and she will be returning as soon as possible to the children and communities of Moku O Keawe (Hawaiʻi Island),” he added.

Despite Hōkūleʻa’s early departure from Hawaiʻi Island, the crew panel presentations will not be cancelled and will take place as scheduled:

  • Thursday, May 3, 6–8 p.m., Kahilu Town Hall, Waimea: Panel Presentation, documentation team who were embedded on the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage
  • Saturday, May 5, 5:30–8:30 p.m., Fairmont Orchid Grand Ballroom: Panel Presentation, ʻOhana Holomoana, 1976 Crew
  • Sunday, May 6, 4–6 p.m., Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Luʻau Grounds: Panel Presentation, PiliwehenaʻOle: Inseparable Relationships
  • Thursday, May 24, 5:30–7:30 p.m.: Kanu o ka Aina, Kamuela, Malama Honua Community Panel


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