The U.S. Coast Guard continued working with a salvage company Monday to remove a marine battery and fixed diesel fuel tank from a 30ft sailing vessel that ran into rocks and began taking on water near the reef runway.
Coast Guard Sector Honolulu is working with the boat’s owner, Parker Marine Corp. a marine salvage and vessel support service company, and the state Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation to re-float the vessel and remove the fuel tank and battery before they leak into the ocean.
Parker Marine was able to remove three other diesel tanks from the boat but weather conditions slowed the salvage. The marine battery and the fixed fuel tank remain on board and could release up to eight gallons of contaminants.
“The boaters (safety) is our first priority. Then it is to manage the potential for pollution,” said David Graham, a Coast Guard pubic affairs specialist. “We are committed to protecting the marine life and our aquatic resources for Hawaii’s residents and visitors.”
The mariner’s insurance company contracted with Parker Marine to do the salvage work. The vessel is not currently impeding navigation in the area.
On Sept. 4, firefighters from the Honolulu Fire Department and the State of Hawaii’s Airport Rescue Fire Fighting Unit teamed up to rescue the four people on board who were not injured.
HFD received a distress call at 7:54 p.m. reporting that the vessel ran aground on the reef in an unmarked channel near the harbor entrance.
Five HFD units staffed with 16 personnel responded, along with ARFF’s Rescue Boat 3. The Coast Guard issued an urgent marine information broadcast, launched a 45-foot Response Boat-medium and an Air Station Barbers Point Eurocopter HH-65 Dolphin search and rescue helicopter.
HFD’s Rescue Boat 3 reached the sailboat about 1 1/3 miles off shore. ARFF personnel made visual contact with four people aboard the ship at 8:30 p.m. and HFD firefighters used a rescue paddleboard to take them off the the stranded vessel and bring them aboard the ARFF boat.