Fishing Vessel Aground at Hilo Harbor Moved

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard recently moved a 63-foot fishing vessel, the Midway Island, from the rocks to Pier 2 within Hilo Harbor. The vessel had been grounded since Feb. 3.

Contractors for the agency were careful to stabilize the ship, implement an absorbent boom to sop up any leaky petroleum.

“We are lucky to have strong partnerships with the industry, state, and the local community,” said Chief Warrant Officer Russ Strathern, marine safety specialist, 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.”

Meanwhile, Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources will work with the coordinating agency and the owner of the Midway Island on disposing of the vessel and cleaning up the grounding site.

According to the agency, 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.

By Sarah Spangler