Tsunami Update: Coast Guard crews in Hawaii conduct port assessments, re-open waterways

HONOLULU — U.S. Coast Guard crews completed port and waterways overflight assessments throughout the Main Hawaiian Islands and have found no significant damage as a result of the tsunami originating from the earthquake in Chile.

Coast Guard crews from Air Station Barbers Point conducted aerial assessments for potential persons in distress, port and waterway damage and pollution threats. Coast Guard boats and cutters, stationed out of Sand Island, also were underway during this threat to respond to any distress calls.

Capt. Barry Compagnoni, Captain of the Port, Honolulu, re-opened the Port of Honolulu to vessel traffic at about 2 p.m. Hundreds of vessels, including two cruise ships, remained off the south shore of Oahu during the port’s closure.

“The Coast Guard appreciates the tremendous cooperation from the recreational and commercial boating community throughout Hawaii,” said Capt. David Swatland, the 14th Coast Guard District’s chief of response. “Hundreds of vessel owners proactively took the necessary and judicious steps to ensure the safety and security of their crews, their vessels and Hawaii’s maritime transportation system.”

“Coast Guard search and rescue planners worked extremely well today with their local, state and federal partners to ensure the safety and security of Hawaii’s maritime community,” said Compagnoni. “While our thoughts and prayers are with those devastated by this tragic earthquake, I’m extremely proud of the men and women who worked so diligently today to be astute guardians of the maritime environment.”

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