Efforts to move shipwreck off Waikiki fail — again

'Pacific Paradise' isn't moving anytime soon
Published: Dec. 2, 2017 at 9:14 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 4, 2017 at 9:19 AM HST
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WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Coast Guard officials called off removal operations for the grounded fishing boat near Waikiki — yet again — on Sunday.

Some Waikiki residents came down to Kaimana Beach just to see it happen.

"It's kind of interesting to see, it's something different. I'm sure when it's off it'll be good, better for the environment and all that, but we've been kind of watching it all unfold and it's interesting," said Laura Watson.

"Just to see the conclusion of it. It's been an interesting drama in what's happened, the 19 guys who were here and they didn't have fish in their holds and then the fire...part of us is like, aw, it's been kind of a fixture, it's gonna be sad when it leaves. But if it is still leaking diesel and causing harm to the coral reefs, it's probably better that it's gone," Frank Oliveira said.

After evaluating weather conditions this weekend, Coast Guard officials and salvage crews tried twice to move the ship, but were delayed. Weather and the discovery of further damage to the boat are contributing factors for delays.

"There have been some high winds today that also made things move a little slower than they did previously, but it is a deliberate effort and we're going to do this as safely as possible," Sara Muir of the Coast Guard said Saturday.

A day later, they reevaluated the ocean conditions as well as structural integrity of the boat and found that it was unsuitable to move until further steps can be taken to stabilize and float the vessel.

Salvage crews are adding buoyancy to the damaged vessel and plan to tow it further out to sea where it will eventually be sunk. The problem is getting it there.

"The process to re-float the vessel is continuing. It's taking a little longer than we wanted it to," Muir added.

Crews are continuing to apply a special foam inside the vessel that will help float it. More than half of the desired 20 compartments of the ship were filled as of Saturday afternoon.

When crews returned Sunday, they found further damage to the boat and said they'll try again Monday. The timeline as to when the boat will finally move is unknown.

"There are more holes that previously thought and so as we continue to dewater the vessel, we find other spaces that need to be addressed," said Muir.

The boat first ran aground on Oct. 10 with 20 people on board. Environmental concerns have also been raised after fishing hooks and spilled fuel were discovered in the water.

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