Lost at Sea

Off-roading taken to new levels.

It’s not every day you see a truck in the ocean. For a few waterside residents, their picturesque view of Molokai’s reef was obstructed lasy Tuesday evening, after a truck became stranded on the mudflats about 100 yards off the Coconut Grove shoreline in Kaunakakai.

The abandoned truck remained in the water for three days before finally being towed out by another truck with help from several family members of one resident. Shane Tabilangan, the truck’s operator, will be fined for unlawfully leaving the car in state waters, according to Keif Apo of the Department of Land and Natural Resources enforcement office on Molokai.

“He was given a few days to get it out, and they did,” Apo said. The amount of the fine will be decided pending a court date in June.

Tabilangan was reportedly trying to retrieve a makeshift raft by driving out on the mudflats during a low tide. The truck then became lodged up to its axels in mud. Several attempts to remove the truck, which included nearly stranding a second truck, were unsuccessful according to a nearby resident.  

“I don’t know what he was thinking,” said one frustrated resident. “He brought back his raft, but left his truck. It doesn’t make any sense.”

The vehicle, which reportedly belongs to a friend of Tabilangan, was removed Thursday afternoon after barrels were strapped beneath the truck to help float it to shore. Once close enough to the coast, cables were strapped to the vehicle and it was towed by another truck.

Residents and friends applauded in victory. “Look at our view!” exclaimed one relieved resident.

Tabilangan declined to comment on the incident.

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