HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Just below the surface are Army divers, on a mission to figure out why the 77-foot Judy K is now sitting on the bottom of Honolulu Harbor.
The commercial fishing boat sank near Pier 16 back in January. Now, only the wheelhouse sticks out of the water.
"We had gone through the paperwork to impound the vessel but later found out due to a glitch it never went through. The vessel is owned by someone who is deceased in another country so we had to work our way through that," said Department Director of Harbors Division Darrell Young.
The Hawaii Department of Transportation determined the boat wasn't a threat to the environment, public safety or commerce so a bidding process began to find a company to remove it.
"We had anticipated this to be between $30,000 and $50,000 after checking with the industry. But when we went out to bid the first time the bids came in at $30,000 and $190,000," said Young.
Instead of shelling out that much money, HDOT officials teamed up with the US Army.
"It's very dark. It's very difficult to see," said SERG Dakota Rager.
But so far, what caused the Judy K to sink remains a mystery.
"I don't see anything obvious in there at all. I didn't see any holes in the ship that weren't supposed to be there," said SERG Rager.
It is unknown at this time how much all this underwater work will cost.
If whatever caused the boat to sink can be repaired easily, HDOT officials say they would like to re-float the boat and auction it off, but if not the ship will be scrapped.
Divers will be at the harbor again on Wednesday to continue their work.