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12 shipping containers that went overboard still missing off Hilo coast

  • COURTESY SEN. KAI KAHELE
                                Shipping containers aboard a Young Brothers vessel are seen in Hilo Harbor early Monday. The Coast Guard is investigating after 21 containers fell off the barge Monday between Honolulu and Hilo.

    COURTESY SEN. KAI KAHELE

    Shipping containers aboard a Young Brothers vessel are seen in Hilo Harbor early Monday. The Coast Guard is investigating after 21 containers fell off the barge Monday between Honolulu and Hilo.

The Coast Guard is continuing to respond to the loss of 21 shipping containers that went overboard early Monday from a Young Brothers barge headed for Hilo.

Aerial overflights were conducted, but 12 remain unaccounted for and there were no further sightings.

A cluster of nine were found eight miles north of Hilo. Of that, two were towed and secured in Hilo Harbor and two were found and marked.

Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir said today that the initial news release by the Coast Guard Monday of one container floating in Hilo Harbor should have said it was in Hilo Bay.

>> PHOTOS: Coast Guard investigating after 21 containers fall off Young Brothers vessel

The company hired a Cates Marine salvage team to search for and locate the containers.

American Marine is using a 250-ton crane to pull them out of the water in Hilo.

The containers are scheduled Wednesday morning for removal from the water in Hilo Harbor.

Young Brothers has offloaded most of the containers that were onboard the barge and gotten them to customers, Muir said.

However, “the back row of containers, where the containers were lost from, have remained untouched,” Muir said. In that section, some of the containers are “tipped over or unsettled.”

Young Brothers will submit plans for offloading the remaining containers to Coast Guard Sector Honolulu for review and approval.

The offloading is expected to take several days.

Only one shipping container was found to contain hazardous materials in the form of small household cleaners and usage materials, the Coast Guard said. That container remained on the barge and was never in the water.

“The event has been deemed a reportable marine casualty, meeting the criteria for such designation under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations,” the Coast Guard said. It is working with the company to investigate the incident.

The National Transportation Safety Board was advised and has a supporting role.

Young Brothers is conducting its own independent investigation.

The Coast Guard continues to advise mariners to use caution in waters off Hilo and to keep a close eye out for any signs of the shipping containers which could present a hazard to navigation.

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