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Coast Guard Reopens Ports Following Darby

July 25, 2016, 12:19 PM HST
* Updated July 25, 12:22 PM
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"Spirit of Kona" grounded on rocks during Tropical Storm Darby. US Coast Guard photo.

“Spirit of Kona” grounded on rocks during Tropical Storm Darby. DLNR photo.

Coast Guard Captain of the Port opened all commercial ports in the Hawaiian Islands and cargo operations have resumed today, Monday, July 25, after Tropical Storm Darby moves past the island chain.

Tropical Storm Darby is expected to continue west and degrade.

Vessel and facility operators are recommended to exercise caution when maneuvering in the ports as there may be fields of debris present.

Representatives from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, Department of Natural Resources, Hawai‘i Division of Boating and Recreation, commercial salvors and the owner of the Spirit of Kona continue to address its grounding near the Kailua-Kona Lighthouse.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watch standers received notification Sunday morning from a good Samaritan reporting the 65-foot Spirit of Kona, a commercial passenger vessel, aground on rocks.

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The vessel reportedly broke free of its mooring in Kailua Bay as Tropical Storm Darby passed over the region early Sunday. No one was aboard the vessel at the time.

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A non-recoverable sheen was seen in the area. The vessel reportedly has a maximum pollution potential of 600 gallons of diesel fuel aboard, commercial batteries and 19.5 gallons of hydraulic and lube oils. As the Spirit of Kona is a commercial vessel operated by Blue Sea Cruises, the Coast Guard is investigating the cause the of the grounding. A notice of federal interest has been issued.

As a reminder, the public and visitors to Hawai‘i should heed all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials.

Although weather conditions may appear favorable, rip tides and high surf may continue to impact beaches as the storm degrades. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe. Near-shore waters may become contaminated due to runoff up to several days following a storm.

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