20 rescued from sinking vessel in Waikiki, salvage efforts underway
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Crews rescued 20 fishermen from a boat that ran aground off Kaimana Beach late Tuesday.
The 79-foot fishing vessel Pacific Paradise ran aground near the Natatorium just before 11:30 p.m. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the incident involves foreign nationals from Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines who work on a long-line fishing boat.
Officials say only the captain is an American citizen.
According to the Coast Guard, the distress call did not come from the fishing boat itself but three eyewitnesses.
A Diamond Head area resident who saw all the activity last night told Hawaii News Now it was a pretty hectic scene involving the Honolulu Fire Department's helicopter, rescue boats, jet skis and surfboards -- all used in an attempt to help get the fishermen off the sinking vessel and onto the Coast Guard rescue boat.
A total of 17 people were successfully moved from the fishing vessel to the Coast Guard rescue boat and taken to shore. Three others were hoisted up in a rescue basket by crews on a Coast Guard helicopter and flown to the Kalaeloa Coast Guard Base.
According to Emergency Medical Services, no one was injured.
The vessel is resting about 1,000 feet offshore, the Coast Guard said, and although no pollution was reported, the vessel is carrying a potentially hazardous load to the environment.
Officials said there are approximately 8,000 gallons of diesel, 55 gallons of lube and hydraulic oils and four marine batteries aboard.
Multiple agencies including the DLNR are working to ensure the ship does not harm the environment.
A salvage team is working to stabilize the vessel. officials are planning to remove the boat at next high tide Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, a safety zone extending 500 yards from the vessel has been put in place.
Weather has been ruled out as a factor in the incident, and it is unclear what caused the vessel to run aground.
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