Responders drain, patch Pacific Paradise during prep work for upcoming removal

Chief Petty Officer Joshua Alton, a damage controlman assigned to the Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team, supervises and provides safety oversight on scene for the Pacific Paradise response just off Kaimana Beach, Oahu, Nov. 14, 2017. The strike team is a vital national asset comprised of a unique and highly trained cadre of Coast Guard professionals who maintain and rapidly deploy with specialized equipment and incident management skills any time to any place or hazard. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

Chief Petty Officer Joshua Alton, a damage controlman assigned to the Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team, supervises and provides safety oversight on scene for the Pacific Paradise response just off Kaimana Beach, Oahu, Nov. 14, 2017.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

 

HONOLULU — Work to prepare, refloat and remove the Pacific Paradise continues Tuesday 400-yards off Kaimana Beach, Oahu. The goal of the response is to remove the vessel in the safest way possible with the least impact to the environment.

“Members of the Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team, a Coast Guard team specializing in pollution response, have arrived on island and are on scene to supervise the effort and provide safety oversight,” said Captain of the Port and Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Commander Capt. Michael Long, the federal on-scene coordinator. “Safety of not only the public but our response team is a top priority. These Coast Guard members are another source of experience and support for this effort.”

Tuesday responders dewatered and prepared three aft spaces aboard the vessel for the refloat. The water was pumped into the vessel’s fish hold for the time being to contain it and help maintain stability aboard the vessel. Divers were aboard and conducted additional surveys to assist naval engineerings with their refloat calculations and models of the vessel. The internal sorbent boom was again replaced and a bulk bag, a industrial container made of flexible fabric also known as a super sack, full of debris was removed.

Moving forward additional work will be done in other spaces aboard and connection points for the towing equipment are being readied. Monday responders dewatered the lazarette, a sizable storage space in the stern of the vessel. Responders discovered water returned to the lazarette prompting efforts to dewater, patch and plug any holes in the hull or areas where water may intrude from other interior spaces Tuesday.

No hydrocarbons were present in water sampled taken adjacent to the Waikiki Aquarium Monday. Additional testing near Kaimana Beach is scheduled for Thursday. Testing is currently being done twice weekly. Strike Team members on site today, within 300-feet, again report no visible sheen in the area or wildlife.

The site immediately around the vessel and the vessel itself are dangerous. The vessel is in a surf zone and the structure of the vessel is compromised. Non-response personnel should stay outside the 500-yard safety zone that remains in effect around the vessel. Advisory signs were posted at the entrances to Kaimana Beach as well as on the Pacific Paradise.

The Pacific Strike Team is one of three special teams that make up the National Strike Force. They are based out of Novato, California. The strike team is a vital national asset comprised of a unique and highly trained cadre of Coast Guard professionals who maintain and rapidly deploy with specialized equipment and incident management skills any time to any place or hazard.

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