'Viable solution' to move big fishing boat stuck off Waikiki proves elusive

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Authorities still don't know when a grounded fishing boat will be removed from a reef off Diamond Head.

The Pacific Paradise ran aground near Kaimana Beach on Oct. 10, and it hasn't budged much since.

"The vessel is located in a very dynamic area, in a surf break. We've had issues with surging of the water and water clarity, and have been unable at this point to conduct a complete assessment of the hull," said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Gregg Maye.

He said estimates show there are about 1,500 gallons of diesel fuel still on board in a tank in the engine room that's submerged and plugged.

"One of the reasons we want to do an inspection of the hull is to make sure it can withstand that stress. We don't want to damage the vessel in the process and have a release of fuel right on Waikiki Beach," Maye said.

"One of the thoughts is that there may be bow stabilizers on the vessel. They may have gotten wedged somehow into that reef, making that tug off the reef a lot harder," said Suzanne Case, chair of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Maye said the Coast Guard is waiting for another action proposal from the boat's owner and the salvage company before giving the green light to another removal attempt.

Department of Health assistant director Keith Kawaoka said a number of agencies are working together to find a "viable solution" to removing the vessel but there are no easy answers.

The boat has taken on water so it will have to be drained to lighten the load.

Maye said all 20 people who were on board the longline fishing vessel when it grounded were accounted for and turned over to U.S. Custom and Border Protection.

There is a 500-yard safety zone around the boat. Maye said there are random patrols to make sure no one tries to board the vessel.

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