Coast Guard continues to investigate the loss of 21 cargo containers from barge

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard continues to investigate the loss of 21 cargo containers from the barge Ho Omaka Hou and monitor response operations in Hawaii, Tuesday.

All cargo was successfully removed from the barge over the weekend, and it returned safely to Honolulu Monday, where a further damage assessment is being conducted.

Of the 21 missing containers, 12 remain unlocated. One was initially located north of Hilo and sank. One washed ashore at Onomea beach, where it was refloated and towed to Hilo Harbor. The rest were recovered to Hilo Harbor and were removed from the water.

June 22, the tug Hoku Loa operator reported to the Coast Guard a loss of cargo from the barge Ho Omaka Hou as they transited from Honolulu to Hilo Harbor in the early morning.

Coast Guard watchstanders issued a broadcast notice to mariners to alert any traffic in the area to keep a sharp lookout for any containers that may pose a hazard to navigation. Operations began shortly after that to locate the missing cargo and remove those containers still aboard the barge in Hilo.

The incident is a reportable marine casualty under federal regulations as defined by the criteria in the Code of Federal Regulations for all commercial maritime operations. As a matter of routine and in line with standard practices surrounding a marine casualty, the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the incident. Both agencies produce their own summary of findings.

The shipping company, Young Brothers, worked cooperatively with the Coast Guard to address the situation and is conducting an independent investigation.

The State of Hawaii Department of Transportation – Harbors Division is also aware and assisted in cargo operations at the pier in Hilo

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.