A commercial fishing boat stranded off Kaimana Beach was removed from the reef, but is now stuck in the channel.
Salvage crews began towing the Pacific Paradise during Wednesday's high tide at 6:20 a.m. Using towlines, they managed to re-float the grounded vessel and pull it 200 feet towards Diamond Head. The hours long removal effort was suspended when the tide dropped and the 79-foot boat got stuck in a sandy, shallow part of the channel.
"We're up and away from the reef and into the sandy channel, which is where we want to be," U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs Officer Sara Muir said of Wednesday's removal efforts. "It's less disruptive for the boat, better for the reef, and allows us to be in a better position to start operations tomorrow. Right now the plan is to tow on tomorrow morning's high tide. That's over two feet and this afternoon's is less than one foot. That morning high tide gives us the best opportunity."
The Pacific Paradise ran aground with 20 people on board in October. The accident is under investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard. Once the boat is removed from the area, the Coast Guard says it be sunk in an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved disposal site 13 miles off shore.