On February 3, a 63-ft motorsailer went aground on the Big Island of Hawaii following a 34-day passage from L.A.
There was just one person onboard, according to West Hawaii Today. “At 5:33 p.m. Monday, the US Coast Guard and Hawaii Fire Department personnel responded to a report of a grounded vessel on the rocks northwest of Hilo Harbor. A mariner remained on the vessel named Midway Island.” West Hawaii Today went on to say that the boat — which was called a a fishing vessel by another media outlet — was at the base of steep cliffs and hard to spot, and was being “bashed by large surf.”
A Coast Guard helicopter hoisted the sole sailor to safety. The man was said to be in good condition.
On February 4, the Coast Guard assessed the vessel for threats of pollution. The hull was still sound and hadn’t yet leaked any fuel. “There is a maximum potential fuel load of [some 1,300] gallons of diesel aboard along with two marine batteries,” West Hawaii Today reported.
On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that the Coast Guard had scrapped plans to tow Midway Island “after inspectors discovered flooding in the boat.” The AP said the Coast Guard hoped to move the boat off the rocks and into a berth in Hilo during the high tide.
The environmental impact is still reported to be minimal.
“The Coast Guard is working with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and other partners on plans to safely move the boat and mitigate any pollution on board,”