comscore Landing gear from downed Navy plane ‘pulverized’ Kaneohe Bay coral | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Landing gear from downed Navy plane ‘pulverized’ Kaneohe Bay coral

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now
  • LANCE CPL. HUNTER JONES / MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII
                                Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources surveyed the coral and ecosystems in Kaneohe Bay on Sunday.

    LANCE CPL. HUNTER JONES / MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII

    Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources surveyed the coral and ecosystems in Kaneohe Bay on Sunday.

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                The P-8A Poseidon airplane that skidded off the runway at Marine Corps Base Hawaii two weeks ago while trying to land in rainy weather and ended up in water no deeper than 30 feet sat on the tarmac today.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The P-8A Poseidon airplane that skidded off the runway at Marine Corps Base Hawaii two weeks ago while trying to land in rainy weather and ended up in water no deeper than 30 feet sat on the tarmac today.

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM DLNR
                                Department of Land and Natural Resources’ division of aquatic resources aquatic biologist Kim Fuller spoke at a press conference today at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM DLNR

    Department of Land and Natural Resources’ division of aquatic resources aquatic biologist Kim Fuller spoke at a press conference today at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Rear Admiral Kevin P. Lenox Commander, Carrier Strike Group Three spoke at a press conference today at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Rear Admiral Kevin P. Lenox Commander, Carrier Strike Group Three spoke at a press conference today at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

The front landing gear of a Navy P-8A Poseidon that slid off the runway at Marine Corps Base Hawaii “sort of pulverized the coral” when it came to rest — while anchors from a boom that went up around the downed plane also damaged coral 100 feet off the runway.

Kim Fuller, an aquatic biologist with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ division of aquatic resources, said DLNR divers today will continue to assess the damage to the reef after an initial review on Sunday after the plane was lifted out of the bay on “roller bags” and towed backward onto the lone base runway.

Fuller said DLNR would like to take a week to further assess damage, but “I would say we’ve seen the majority of the worst damage.”

The main goal today is to return some of the larger broken “finger coral” pieces to their previous positions in the hope they will regrow, Fuller said. Others may have to be re-positioned with epoxy, she said at an early morning press conference on the base.

The boom that Marines installed within 30 minutes around the plane was anchored at 15 points and some of the anchors also damaged coral, Fuller said.

A threatened green sea turtle was found dead between two of three booms on Friday and had “a lot of tumors on the skin. It did not appear to be a healthy turtle,” said Navy Rear Adm. Kevin Lenox, who is in charge of the recovery of the P-8A.

The plane skidded off the runway two weeks ago while trying to land in rainy weather and ended up in water no deeper than 30 feet.

The mishap caused fixed-wing aircraft operations to cease.

Col. Jeremy Beaven, commander of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, said he will be flexible in allowing DLNR to do its work.

“I have a fair amount of latitude,” Beaven said, “to support the time they need.”

He plans to give DLNR “adequate time so they don’t rush.”

Comments (25)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up