WAIKIKI - Updated October 18, 2017:

The fishing-vessel "Pacific Paradise" remains stuck on the reef in waters off Waikiki. Divers from the salvage team inspected its hull Wednesday; they plan to rig the ship Thursday and hopefully tow it on Friday.

The boat ran aground last Tuesday with 20 fishermen and 13,000 gallons of fuel on board. High winds and high surf have stalled salvage efforts, and the ship has caught fire a few times.


A salvage crew was forced to jump overboard after the grounded fishing vessel they were on caught fire off of Kaimana Beach in Waikiki on Saturday.

According to the United States Coast Guard, the boat is the "Pacific Paradise," the same boat that ran aground earlier this week. 

Seven members of the salvage crew were on board preparing to attempt to remove the 79-foot fishing boat from the reef around 10 a.m. Saturday, when the fire broke out. The Coast Guard says gasoline used to fuel a dewatering pump splashed on the vessel's hot surfaces, causing the fire.

"Looks like one of them just shimmied down the rope off the back end, but the rest of them just jumped in," witness Jerry Darby added. "I think they were ready to pull the boat out, and they started the engine on the boat, and after five minutes, it caught fire," witness Pal Bredesen said. "Once the flames got higher, they jumped into the water."

All crew members made it off the boat safely. Multiple agencies, including Honolulu Fire Department's Air One, helped to bring the fire under control.

Saturday was the second attempt made to remove the boat from the reef, but clouds of smoke and a damaged tow line made it difficult for crews to do so.

"We are losing the tide, so the high tide for the daylight hours has passed," said USCG Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir. "We are looking at what the next best options are for us -- if we need to secure it in place or if we need to continue trying to tow it."

The first attempt on Friday to re-float the 161-ton fishing vessel was unsuccessful. A tugboat was used to try to pull the vessel off the reef but the tow line snapped twice. The salvage is being done by Cates Marine International and PENCO.

The U.S.-flagged vesse' "Pacific Paradise" ran aground the night of Tuesday, Oct. 10, with 20 people on board. All were brought to shore safely.

Coast Guard officials say over the past couple of days, salvage crews have removed most the fuel on board, along with marine batteries. Muir says, however, diesel fuel has leaked from the vessel.  

"About two-thirds of the fuel was lightened from the vessel earlier this week, and so about 1,500 gallons remained on board," she said, "so some portion of that looks like its been released. The good thing about diesel fuel is that it's a light, non-persistent fuel. It does break up in the surf. Some of it will evaporate."

As a precaution, the Coast Guard has enforced a safety zone extending 500 yards out from the vessel. Beach-goers are being asked to avoid swimming in the surrounding waters. USCG Cutter Kittieake remained on scene overnight to monitor the vessel and enforce the safety zone. 

NOAA is keeping an eye on the diesel fuel spill and will conduct a trajectory analysis, according to Muir. NOAA's marine mammal response team also remains on standby, since monk seals are known to frequent the area. 

The Coast Guard says the boat owner has been contacted and is cooperating. The cause of the grounding is still unknown at this time. 

Crews will attempt to move the vessel again during high tide on Sunday.