Wednesday, July 06, 2005
The U-S Coast Guard says a ship on a mission to remove marine debris from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands ran aground in a protected marine preserve early today.
The CasitasThe American-flagged ship Casitas sustained severed damage when it ran aground at two a-m on Pearl and Hermes Atoll. A Coast Guard C-130 plane flew to the scene about one thousand miles northwest of Honolulu and has dropped dewatering pumps to the ship so it can remove water from it's hull. No oil has leaked from the ship, but the Captain of the Port Honolulu has taken initial steps to manage any potential spill. The marine preserve where the ship ran aground is home to monk seals and other protected species. The Coast Guard says the Casitas was en route to Maro Reef and the French Frigate Shoals to remove marine debris under contract from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A federal research vessel is expected to reach the scene tomorrow evening. The Coast Guard Cutter Walnut should arrive in five days. USCGC WALNUT (WLB-205)The Coast Guard spokeswoman says authorities are monitoring what other needs the Casitas may have in the meantime.