US Coast Guard Investigating Wrecked Vessel

February 4, 2020, 2:55 PM HST (Updated February 4, 2020, 3:05 PM)
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Vessel run aground north of Hilo Monday evening. (PC: US Coast Guard)

No pollutants were discharged into the environment after 63-foot motor-sailing vessel ran aground on the rocky shoreline just north of Hilo.

The US Coast Guard is investigating the environmental impacts of the wrecked boat, Midway Island, where one mariner was rescued. As of Tuesday afternoon, officials say, the vessel has not discharged any pollutants into the environment.

“Pollution responders are on scene assessing the situation and surrounding area for impacts,” US Coast Guard states.

On Monday at approximately 5:33 p.m., Hawai‘i Fire Department received a report of a 70-foot vessel aground at the bottom of Wainaku Scenic Point and Honoli‘i Beach Park. Chopper 1 was dispatched to the scene and a fire rescue specialist from Waiakea Rescue station was lowered from the aircraft onto the deck of the vessel.

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The rescuer found a sole crew member on board and safely hoisted him from the vessel using a Billy Pugh Net.

The mariner had set sail in Los Angeles 34 days ago. The man was treated at the scene and refused further medical attention.

A HC-130 Hercules aircraft and crew launched at first light Tuesday with a Coast Guard pollution responder aboard from Sector Honolulu to conduct an aerial assessment of the surrounding area for pollution threats.

Another Coast Guard pollution responder from Marine Safety Team Hawai‘i was on scene Tuesday conducting a surface assessment with the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The vessel does have a fuel load of 1,800 gallons of diesel aboard along with two marine batteries.

“The Coast Guard continues to oversee assessment and mitigation efforts, working in partnership with the State of Hawaii and local officials,” the coast guard states. “There are no reports of personnel injuries or impacted wildlife.”

The US Coast Guard is investigating the incident.  Officials add the cleanup of the wreckage is up to the responsible party.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat. Tiffany is an award-winning journalist, receiving recognition from the Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists. Tiffany grew up on the Big Island and is passionate about telling the community’s stories.

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