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Hawaii News

Grounded fishing vessel still won’t budge

Timothy Hurley

Two weeks after a fishing boat ran aground off Waikiki, authorities are still trying to figure out how to dislodge it from the reef.

Officials with the Coast Guard said Monday that they are continuing to formulate a new removal plan after responders were unsuccessful Friday in trying to break free the 79-foot Pacific Paradise from the reef off Waikiki’s Kaimana Beach.

In any case, salvage operations probably couldn’t have continued Monday due to stormy conditions, they said.

On Friday crews with marine salvage company Cates International used a tug with a towline and chain in an attempt to tow the vessel from the coral reef.

“Salvage teams attempted various removal procedures on both on the bow and stern and although the vessel had movement during the process, it remains aground,” Capt. Michael Long, commander of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu and captain of the port, said in a statement.

Coast Guard and Honolulu Fire Department crews rescued the master and 19 fishermen from the vessel after it grounded late Oct. 10. The cause of the grounding remains under investigation.

The U.S.-flagged vessel, part of Hawaii’s longline fishing fleet based in Honolulu, caught fire during salvage operations Oct. 14, delaying the mission.

A salvage team finally was able to approach the vessel to survey the damage Wednesday, and on Thursday the boat was prepared for towing the next day.

An estimated 1,500 gallons of diesel remains on board, officials said Friday, but all fuel tanks have been plugged.

A safety zone extends 500 yards in all directions in water around the vessel. The public is asked to remain clear of the safety zone to prevent injury or impact to operations, officials said.

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