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Responders continue work to prep Pacific Paradise to be refloate - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Responders continue work to prep Pacific Paradise to be refloated, removed

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Responders continue work to prepare the large commercial fishing vessel, Pacific Paradise, to be refloated and removed from Kaimana Beach.

On Sunday, a commercial helicopter was spotted flying above the vessel, as it removed several large steel sheets-- weighing approx. 245 pounds each-- from the deck to lighten the boat for eventual refloating. 

"I was swimming out there and then looked up and I see the helicopter taking it piece, by piece," Honolulu resident, John said. 

A temporary flight restriction was in effect in the area during Sunday's operations, preventing aircraft and drones from flying lower than 1,000 feet. 

It's been over a month since the 79-foot commercial fishing vessel got stuck in waters off Waikiki. There is still no word on when exactly Pacific Paradise will be removed. Although according to the U.S. Coast Guard, work to prepare the vessel is ongoing and expected to be complete near the end of November.

"I don't really mind it, but it will be nice when it's gone," a beach goer said.

"But it looks they're still making efforts to get it out," added John.

Throughout the weekend, welding and patching operations also continued, in order to help reinforce the vessel's watertight integrity. A landing craft is being used as a work barge to assist responders.

"It's still there.. hasn't moved, but I mean I understand it's a process there is so many things one has to consider the environment, certainly the reef. It's a long process and they certainly want to do it right," Honolulu resident, Rona McKechnie said. 

According to the Coast Guard once the vessel's refloated, it'll be towed out of harms way. Meanwhile a safety zone remains in effect. Advisory signs are posted at the entrances of Kaimana Beach reminding beach goers to stay 500-yards away from the vessel.

Responders say they have not seen any sheening of leaking diesel fuel, or marine life near the vessel-- adding that the goal is to remove Pacific Paradise with the least impact to the environment. Water samples from the nearby Waikiki Aquarium are now being taken and tested daily at Clean Islands Council. So far, all samples have come back clean.