Listen to an update from YWAM Ships Kona 30 days after the tragedy of losing Aaron Bremner and the vessel s/y Hawaii Aloha off the coast of North Kona, Hawaii January 3rd, 2015

The following update was read by Brett Curtis, Director of YWAM Ships Kona.

It was one month ago today that Hawaii Aloha, along with five other vessels throughout the state grounded during a winter storm. Crewman Aaron Bremner, was lost at sea after a series of large waves rolled the 86 ton yacht washing her ashore next to the Four Seasons Hotel north of Kailua Kona.

The update as of today is that the vessel has been removed without environmental damage, for which we are delighted and very grateful to the Department of Land and Natural Resources for their rapid response. The heroic effort from the Fire Department (Ladder 7) and Coast Guard during the days of the search was amazing.
The memorial service for Aaron took place in Orange County, CA on Saturday, January 17th with his family requesting a fund be set up for donations that would go toward replacing Hawaii Aloha so the work Aaron was so committed to might go on among the isolated islands of Micronesia.

The insurance that YWAM Ships Kona had was the only policy type available for ferro-cement hulls and unfortunately did not cover this kind of incident. We are now busy fundraising first to pay for the expenses of the clean up and also to replace the ship.

This event is heart breaking for us, however, we remain committed to taking medical and educational initiatives throughout the region just as soon as we can. Sympathies have flooded in from around the world, including letters from the President of the Marshall Islands, and the U.S. Ambassador in Majuro, Ministers of the Interior and local chiefs, all encouraging us not to give up or forget them.

We are also humbled by the outpouring of love and concern from the Kona community and wish to pass on our gratefulness. Many people came by and donated food during the initial days of searching for Aaron and have given finances to help us get re-started.

We believe what we were doing was a good thing, and are grateful for the support from the Big Island encouraging us to press on.

Interested in knowing more? Contact us. We’d love to chat!

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