CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Two Star, a longline fishing boat, broke up yesterday as waves like this one pounded the wreck. The boat, which ran aground Saturday at the entrance to Kewalo Basin, was breaking apart even as salvagers tossed pieces onto shore.
Salvage goes piece by piece
Workers collect pieces of the Two Star from the boat and shore
Work began yesterday afternoon to remove the fishing boat that has been breaking up outside the Kewalo Basin channel since early Saturday.
"Pieces are all that's left" of the 54-foot longliner Two Star after being pounded by waves for three days, said Rusty Nall, a vice president for Pacific Environmental Corp., which is handling the boat's removal.
Over the next few days, Pacific Environmental's American Islander boat will pull some pieces of the Two Star off in the water and tow them to the Kewalo Basin dry dock for removal, Nall said. Meanwhile, workers will collect pieces of the broken boat from the shoreline at Point Panic.
Chunks of the boat, ranging from "20-feet long and 4-feet wide down to splinters," have wedged into the rock there, Nall said. "It's a great big clean-the-beach event."
"We're going to take our time and do it right," Nall said, noting the potential danger to workers with waves hitting the rocks.
The company was the low bidder, at $95,000, to get the emergency job, said Robert Masuda, deputy director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, whose Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation is responsible for clearing the shoreline for the public safety.
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Spectators gathered yesterday to watch the freeing of the Two Star, aground at Point Panic. In the background is the American Islander, which attempted to drag the boat from shore.
The department will pay the boat removal cost, then seek reimbursement from the owner.
Masuda praised the Coast Guard's quick action for preventing fuel leaks after the boat grounded at 4:30 a.m. Saturday. He also said it was fortunate that the boat didn't have fish aboard, which could have attracted sharks as the boat broke up.
But Masuda said the department is concerned about how long it took to locate a representative of the boat owner, Leilani Fishing Corp., and get permission to remove it.
Permission from the boat owner is required by state law when the grounded boat does not present an immediate danger to public safety. Masuda said because of this and other similar cases, department officials are looking at suggesting possible changes to the law.
State officials couldn't reach Howard Um, a principal with Leilani, until Monday, Masuda said, which delayed removal of the boat until yesterday.
"It would be helpful in a case such as this to take immediate action on a vessel that's grounded, so we could take action before it broke up," Masuda said.
"Anybody who owns a vessel, whether a surfboard or a boat, is responsible for that piece of equipment," Masuda said.
The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the grounding, Coast Guard Petty Officer Brooksann Anderson said yesterday.
The Coast Guard will pay Pacific Environmental for the fuel removal from a special oil spill fund that is raised from fines. The Two Star's owner faces a potential $32,500 fine for oil spill prevention, Anderson said.