Salvage crews to try again after making progress moving stranded fishing vessel
December 11, 2017 | 71° | Check Traffic

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Salvage crews to try again after making progress moving stranded fishing vessel

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A salvage crew worked to free the 79-foot fishing vessel Pacific Paradise from the reef off Kaimana Beach this morning.

While salvage crews made progress, they were unsuccessful at towing the Pacific Paradise away during high tide early this morning and will try again tomorrow, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Muir said crews were able to move the 79-foot fishing vessel boat about 600 feet and away from the reef into a sandy, shallow area this morning. In addition, she said two tugs are prepared to tow the boat at tomorrow’s high tide at around 7 a.m.

“Tomorrow’s sun will be up and we will get a hook-up earlier in the daylight,” she said. “Trying to work in daylight is easier and safer. Fortunately, we haven’t had any injuries so far.”

Earlier this morning, Muir said the metal shackle attaching the boat to a tow line broke and had to be replaced.

On Tuesday, crews worked to repair a bulkhead between the fish hold and engine room by installing a 5-foot-by-6-foot metal plate underwater after original plans to tow the boat away at high tide over the weekend did not transpire. The intrusion of water into the fish hold was too severe, according to the Coast Guard, making the vessel too heavy. Another attempt was scheduled at high tide early this morning.

The fishing boat, owned by TWOL LLC and registered to a Honolulu address, got stuck on the reef just before midnight on Oct. 10 with 20 aboard — one American captain and 19 foreign workers. The owner’s insurance is supposed to cover the removal costs, expected to be at least $1 million, to a disposal site about 13 miles south of Oahu. If there are additional costs, Muir said the Coast Guard can foot them with the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard said daily water quality testing continues to show no presence of petroleum hydrocarbons. The Waikiki Aquarium, which pumps seawater into its tanks, requested the daily water quality testing out of concern for the welfare of its two resident Hawaiian monk seals, Maka and Ho‘ailona.

Oceangoers are asked to observe a safety zone of 500 yards around the wreckage.

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