Damaged Chinese Cargo Ship Arrives In Port Friday

Carolyn Golojuch
Carolyn Golojuch
Russ Tippets
Russ Tippets

By Beth Hillyer

(KHNL) - KHNL is learning more about the Chinese ship sitting just offshore of Honolulu's airport.

But it's what we don't know that may be of concern.

Coast Guard Officials say they really have no idea what's inside all of those containers.

The crew gave them a list that mentions ammunition, but they have no idea what kind or how much.

Overnight crews will pump water from the hull of the ship.

The crack on the hull is more than four feet long and a cargo hold filled quickly with water.

"The de-watering operation of Tong Cheng continues today," said Coast Guard Spokesman Petty Officer Russ Tippets.  "We hope to have the vessel de-watered tomorrow and once it's de-watered we will be moving Tong Cheng into port."

The ammunition and other cargo will be offloaded at the congested Barbers Point Harbor.

And that has area residents like Carolyn Golojuch concerned.

"If the Chinese ship is leaking oil and it's put over here at Barbers Point and there is an accident on the ship and it blows next to refinery I want to know who is taking care of the people," Golojuch said.

And there are economic issues.

Businessman James Banigan operates out of the same harbor.

"Not a lot of room for ships especially a ship this size," said Banigan.

He explains it will impact his shipping business.

"There is a potential if the ship is shifted to berth where we intent to load scrap and we intend to start on Saturday or Sunday, we will have to leave the berth," said Banigan.  "Our ship will have to leave the berth and drift at sea until the ship finishes repairs and when it sails our ship can come back."

"I don't understand why they are not thinking about putting it out to sea,"  Golojuch added.  "Taking and repairing it offshore, that way our local business wouldn't be put out."

The Coast Guard explained that the dry dock facility is at the harbor.

They said after the repairs are made, the ship will return to China.