Responders prepare to remove grounded fishing vessel off Honolulu

The grounded 79-foot fishing vessel Pacific Paradise off Waikiki, Oahu, Oct. 18, 2017. The vessel will be prepped in an attempt to be towed off of the reef if conditions allow. (National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at the University of Hawaii photo/Released)

The grounded 79-foot fishing vessel Pacific Paradise off Waikiki, Oahu, Oct. 18, 2017. (National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at the University of Hawaii photo/Released)

HONOLULU — Responders prepared Thursday to remove the grounded 79-foot fishing vessel Pacific Paradise off Waikiki.

A salvage team was able to approach the vessel for the first time post fire, Wednesday to survey the damage, assess the hull and inspect for pollution.

The vessel was prepped today in an attempt to be towed off of the reef, Friday if conditions allow.

Nearly 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel and other debris was removed from the vessel and marine contaminants continue to be removed as well.

The vessel remained grounded despite several initial attempts to tow it from the reef located off Waikiki’s Kaimana Beach during favorable tides.

A safety zone remains in effect around the vessel extending out 500 yards in all directions. The public is asked to remain clear of the safety zone to prevent injury or impact to operations. The public is strongly urged not to attempt to approach the vessel.

A temporary flight restriction up to 1,000 feet will remain in effect until 9 p.m.

Partners in the effort include personnel in several divisions of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response, the responsible party, commercial salvors and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA crews are standing by to assist marine mammals as necessary, none have been affected thus far.

Weather conditions in the vicinity of the vessel are forecast as 22 mph winds out of the east-northeast with waves 1 foot or less. Rain showers are possible. These conditions are expected to remain through the remainder of the week. The vessel is somewhat sheltered from the wind by Diamond Head as it’s on the south shore of Oahu.

The Pacific Paradise is a U.S.-flagged vessel and part of the Hawaii longline fishing fleet homeported in Honolulu. Coast Guard response and Honolulu Fire Department crews rescued the master and 19 fishermen from the vessel late night Oct. 10, following reports that the vessel grounded off Diamond Head near Kaimana Beach. Those crewmen were released to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The cause of the grounding remains under investigation.

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