UPDATE, 3:40 P.M.
Chris Martin, director of terminal operations of Young Brothers, LLC said an early morning incident on a barge traveling from Honolulu “resulted in containers falling overboard as the vessel approached Hilo Bay.
“We have deployed a team of investigators to work closely with state and federal officials in determining the cause of the incident,” Martin said in a statement.
The exact total number of containers that fell overboard has yet to be determined by Young Brothers, the state’s only regulated interisland ocean cargo company.
Martin said, “Once the site has been declared safe, we will determine the number of containers impacted and contact affected customers. Young Brothers has a salvage company in place to assist with developing and executing a plan to retrieve the containers.”
The U.S. Coast Guard indicated the latest count of containers that fell overboard was 21. Of that figure, nine have been located so far in waters off Hilo and 12 remain missing.
Young Brothers is partnering with a salvage company to assist with the removal of the containers from Hilo Bay.
UPDATE, 2 P.M.
The Coast Guard is investigating multiple containers that fell off a freight barge off of Hilo early today.
According to the Coast Guard, a tug operator reported at about 4:30 a.m. that several 40-foot shipping containers fell overboard.
The containers fell off the barge, Ho‘omaka Hou which is operated by Young Brothers LLC, as the tug Hoku Loa was transiting to Hilo Harbor from Honolulu. The weather conditions at the time were east winds at 12 miles per hours with four-foot waves and isolated showers.
Tug and barge crews discovered the containers were missing after they moored the barge in Hilo.
The Coast Guard said the number of containers that fell overboard now stands at 21. Nine have been located in waters off of Hilo and 12 remain missing.
The containers that have been located in the water are reportedly adrift approximately eight miles north of Hilo and one is adrift in Hilo Harbor.
It is not immediately clear what type of goods are within the containers.
No injuries were reported.
The Coast Guard is working with Young Brothers to assess the situation and determine what cargo is lost.
Multiple 40-foot shipping containers fell off a tug and barge into waters off of Hilo sometime early today, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ben Berkow said they received a report of the containers adrift in waters approximately nine miles off of Hilo at about 5:40 a.m.
The containers fell off the Ho’omaka Hou, a tug and barge operated by Young Brothers LLC.
No injuries were reported.
In a statement, Chris Martin, director of terminal operations of Young Brothers, said, “We are investigating an incident involving our Honolulu to Hilo barge to determine what caused 11 containers to go overboard in Hilo Bay.”
The company is actively working with a salvaging company to assist with the removal of the containers from the water.
The Coast Guard has issued a notice alerting boaters of the hazards the drifting containers pose in the area.