Coast Guard, partners complete removal of aground sailing vessel off Hilo

The grounded, 63-foot fishing vessel, Midway Island, being successfully removed from Hilo Harbor, March 17, 2020. The State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources will assume the lead as the coordinating agency to work with the owner of the Midway Island. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo/Released)

The grounded, 63-foot fishing vessel, Midway Island, being successfully removed from Hilo Harbor, March 17, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

HONOLULU – The grounded, 63-foot fishing vessel Midway Island, was successfully moved from the rocks to Pier 2 within Hilo Harbor, Tuesday.

Wednesday, Coast Guard contractors worked to stabilize the vessel, deploy preventative adsorbent boom around the vessel, and mitigate any remaining petroleum. The vessel is now stabilized and preventatively boomed at Pier 2 in Hilo Harbor.

“We are lucky to have strong partnerships with the industry, State, and the local community,” said Chief Warrant Officer Russ Strathern, marine safety specialist, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “This complex incident involved a lot of coordination, communication, and patience, as we leveraged multiple strategies to mitigate the environmental threat. I am thankful for our response ohana.”

The State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources will assume the lead as the coordinating agency to work with the owner of the Midway Island for vessel disposition and to conduct a cleanup of the grounding site as the pollution threat has been removed. The State will assess environmental damages and facilitate the future steps of mitigating impacts and vessel disposition.

Reportedly, 1,585 gallons of petroleum products, including marine diesel, lube, and hydraulic oil, and oily waste, were safely removed along with the batteries and household cleaners prior to refloating and towing operations began.

The U.S.-flagged vessel grounded Feb. 3, and the Coast Guard continuously worked with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and other partners to safely move the boat and mitigate pollution aboard. The environmental impact was minimal, and there is no evidence of pollution discharge as a result of the grounding.

Midway Island was transiting from Los Angeles to Hawaii at the time of the grounding. The cause remains under investigation.

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