Casitas - Article URL:...

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Article URL: © 1996-2005 The Honolulu Star-Bulletin | Friday, August 5, 2005 COAST GUARD PHOTO / LT. J.G. ROBERT MOOMAW A Coast Guard crew inspects hoses for leaks during July 9 operations at the Casitas, when it was grounded at the Pearl and Hermes Atoll. Grounded Casitas is scuttled at sea By Diana Leone A ship that went aground in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands on July 2 was successfully removed from the reef and scuttled at sea yesterday. The ship Casitas, valued at $1.2 million, was judged by rescue crews to be too damaged to salvage, said Barbara Maxfield, U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman.
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The 145-foot ship was pulled off the reef at Pearl and Hermes Atoll at 11:31 a.m. yesterday morning. Additional holes in the hull were patched and pumps were kept operating to keep the Casitas afloat until it reached an approved disposal site at approximately 1:35 p.m. The Casitas was confirmed sunk in 7,200 feet of water at 4:45 p.m., about six miles north-northwest of its grounding, Maxfield said. "On behalf of all the parties involved, we are very pleased to see this operation safely completed," said Coast Guard Capt. Manson Brown, federal on-scene coordinator for the Unified Command, a joint task force consisting of the Coast Guard, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the state and the ship's owner, Fishing Vessel Northwind Inc. "The Unified Command shared a common commitment to remove the potential pollutants and extract the vessel from the reef with no human injuries and as little damage to the environment as possible. Given the remote location and the significance of the reef ecosystem, it was a challenge; a challenge we can now say we met." Earlier this week, about 1,850 gallons of gasoline in barrels was transferred from the Casitas to the 240-foot barge serving as the operations base for the extraction. About 30,000 gallons of fuel had been removed from the vessel earlier. Equipment and personal gear were removed from the Casitas before sinking. But because of safety concerns, about 15 tons of marine debris and other trash were left on the vessel but stowed in sealed, double-hulled holds. Entombment of this type is not unusual, Maxfield said. The Casitas was under contract with the National Marine Fisheries Service as a platform for its annual cleanup of marine debris in the Northwestern Islands. "We're very, very pleased to have the ship off of the refuge," said Maxfield. "Certainly it was done in a safe manner. They tried very hard not to damage the environment, and we appreciate that." There were early reports of a light petroleum sheen on the water near the Casitas. The fuel leakage apparently was small, and since then wildlife officials found no
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2011 for the course OCN 201 taught by Professor Decarlo,e during the Summer '08 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.

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Casitas - Article URL:...

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