AP NEWS

Coast Guard abandons plans to move grounded Hawaii ship

February 12, 2020 GMT

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — The Coast Guard has scrapped plans to move a fishing vessel that ran aground after inspectors discovered flooding in the boat, an official said.

The 63-foot (19-meter) ship named Midway Island was grounded Feb. 3 north of Hilo on the Big Island, West Hawaii Today reported Tuesday.

Environmental impact has been minimal and there is no evidence of pollution discharge caused by water leaking into the ship, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard will continue to monitor the vessel until a new plan to move the ship is approved.

Coast Guard officials previously planned to move the Midway Island to a berth outside Wailoa Boat Harbor in Hilo during Monday afternoon’s high tide.

Contractors found water in the fish hold and the engine room while preparing the ship, said Chief Warrant Officer Russell Strathern, a Coast Guard pollution response expert.

“Because this loss of hull integrity and positive buoyancy would have resulted in the sinking of the vessel when moved, they immediately stopped preparing the vessel for a tow,” Strathern said.

The Coast Guard is working with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and other partners on plans to safely move the boat and mitigate any pollution on board.

Officials said 1,352 gallons (5,118 liters) of petroleum products including marine diesel fuel, lube and hydraulic oil were safely removed along with the ship’s batteries and household cleaners.

Officials estimated less than 40 gallons (151 liters) of liquid products remain on board.

A safety zone extending 100 yards (91 meters) from the vessel in all directions remains in effect, authorities said.