Navy divers said yesterday that a mysterious object caught in the ocean intake pipe of Hawaiian Electric Co.’s Kahe power plant is not a torpedo.
The Navy said the object, which has or had a propeller, "appears to be inert."
A team from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 1 recovered the heavily corroded object, about 3 feet long, at about 4 p.m. yesterday and was taking it back to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for analysis, the Navy said.
Divers contracted by Hawaiian Electric Co. spotted the object in three feet of water just a step from shore while cleaning an intake valve at the Kahe Plant near Electric Beach at 9:45 a.m. yesterday.
"My people went down there and took a look at it," said Sgt. Thomas Carreiro, the Honolulu Police Department’s bomb squad and SWAT team leader. "It’s not something we’re too concerned about."
The device could be a sonar buoy, Carreiro said.
It is covered with coral and barnacles and "probably bounced around a lot on the ocean floor," Carreiro said. "That’s why we’re not too concerned that it’s explosive — because it did bounce around a lot before it came in."
Nevertheless, police secured the area and established a safety perimeter until the Navy could respond.