Coast Guard and State Removing Fuel From Grounded Vessel on Niihau

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard, in cooperation with the Hawaii State Department of Health and the Robinson family, continues to monitor the removal of fuel from a grounded fishing vessel at Kawaihoa Point, near the southern tip of Niihau.

The fishing vessel ran aground at 7:15 p.m. Friday. Two men onboard were air lifted off Niihau by a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter. Neither survivor reported injuries.

The 44-foot Wahine Kepaloa II remains aground on the beach in a rocky area. The vessel is breaking up and the Coast Guard Captain of the Port has federalized the case in order to remove oil and hazardous materials from the vessel.

A federalized case gives the Coast Guard authority to hire a contractor to help remove fuel and oils which may pose a risk to the environment. A Coast Guard pollution investigator reported no signs of pollution and no visible impact to marine life or birds in the immediate area after a comprehensive assessment earlier today.

The removal of the pollutants include an estimated 400 gallons of diesel fuel.

Kepaloa II aground on Midway Atoll

U.S. Coast Guard Photo

Source: USCG D14 Public Affairs

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