One rescued after motor-sailing vessel runs aground near Hilo

  • The U.S. Coast Guard responded Tuesday to the 63-foot motor-sailing vessel, Midway Island, grounded off Ale Alea Point. (U.S. Coast Guard/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • The U.S. Coast Guard responded Tuesday to the 63-foot motor-sailing vessel, Midway Island, grounded off Ale Alea Point. (U.S. Coast Guard/Special to West Hawaii Today)

A 63-foot motor-sailing vessel apparently grounded Monday evening near Ale Alea Point in Hilo.

At 5:33 p.m. Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard and Hawaii Fire Department personnel responded to a report of a grounded vessel on the rocks northwest of Hilo Harbor, between Wainaku Scenic Point and Honolii Beach Park. A mariner remained on the vessel named “Midway Island.”

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Upon arrival, the fire department said the vessel, which was difficult to visualize due to its location at the base of sheer cliffs, was being “bashed by large surf.” Utilizing Chopper 1, a rescue specialist was lowered to the deck of the “rocking vessel.”

“There, fire personnel found a sole crew member who was safely extricated with the use of a Billy Pugh Net and lowered to the ground, where he was examined by medical personnel from the Central Fire Station,” a fire department press release reads.

The man, who declined medical attention, had apparently just arrived from Los Angeles after spending 34 days at sea.

A HC-130 Hercules aircraft and crew launched at first light Tuesday with a Coast Guard pollution responder aboard from Sector Honolulu to conduct an aerial assessment of the surrounding area for pollution threats.

Another Coast Guard pollution responder from Marine Safety Team Hawaii is on scene conducting a surface assessment with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

As of Tuesday, the vessel had not discharged any pollutants into the environment. Pollution responders are on scene assessing the situation and surrounding area for impacts, the Coast Guard said.

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There is a maximum potential fuel load of 1,800 gallons of diesel aboard along with two marine batteries.

The Coast Guard will oversee assessment and mitigation efforts, working in partnership with the State of Hawaii and local officials. There were no reports of personnel injuries or impacted wildlife as of Tuesday.

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