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Coast Guard, crews work to remove grounded fishing boat off Waikiki


    A U.S. Coast Guard sailor looks out toward the fishing vessel Pacific Paradise as it sits stranded on the reef on Thursday, in Waikiki as crews worked to free it from the reef.

The U.S. Coast Guard and private contractors were back in Waikiki today trying to refloat and remove the 79-foot fishing vessel that was grounded a few hundred yards off Kaimana Beach in Waikiki late Tuesday.

Today’s late-morning high tide was expected to help the effort and officials were expecting to get the ship free today.

On Thursday, crews worked to safely remove fuel and other pollutants from the Pacific Paradise ahead of today’s effort to remove the vessel.

By Thursday afternoon, officials estimated 2,700 gallons of diesel, 55 gallons of lubricating and hydraulic oils and four marine batteries remained aboard, according to a Coast Guard news release. No pollution from the Pacific Paradise was sighted in the water or on shore, it added. The Coast Guard set up a safety zone circling the wreck to keep the public at least 500 yards away, officials said.

Penco, an emergency response cleanup contractor, worked Wednesday and Thursday to remove fuel. Another contractor, Cates Marine Service LLC, was working to tow the stranded vessel off the reef today.

Other agencies assisting include the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Department of Health’s Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response division, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, according to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard and the Honolulu Fire Department rescued 19 fishermen and the captain from the fishing vessel after they received reports that the vessel grounded about 400 yards from shore Tuesday night. No injuries were reported.

The Pacific Paradise is a U.S.-flagged vessel and part of the Hawaii longline fleet homeported in Honolulu, according to the Coast Guard.

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