Coast Guard responds to vessel taking on water

14th Coast Guard District NewsHONOLULU – Coast Guardsmen responded to a 186-foot University of Hawaii research vessel taking on water approximately 60 miles north of Turtle Bay, Friday.

At 12:15 p.m., watchstanders in Coast Guard Sector Honolulu were notified by crewmembers of the Kilo Moana that their vessel was taking on water at a rate of 400 gallons per hour from a baseball-sized hole in the hull. The cause of the damage is not known. The crew tried unsuccessfully to place a patch over the hole to stop the flooding. The vessel is continuing to take on water.

Two Coast Guard rescue swimmers were lowered to the boat to assist with dewatering the vessel.

Aircrews piloting an HC-130 Hercules airplane and two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point were launched to assist. A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Station Honolulu and a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Coast Guard Station Kauai were also launched to assist but were relieved by the Coast Guard Cutter Ahi crew. Damage controlmen from the Ahi are aboard the Kilo Moana to make repairs. A Dolphin aircrew is making one final equipment delivery. The Ahi crew will remain close to the Kilo Moana until it arrives in Honolulu Harbor. The Hercules and other Dolphin aircrews have returned to base.

A total of seven pumps have been delivered to the Kilo Moana since the beginning of the incident.

There are currently 20 crewmembers and 20 passengers.

The Kilo Moana is equipped with six 25-man life rafts, lifejackets for all aboard.

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