An update on past news

Wednesday, July 8, 1998

Ship’s ill fate
made offshore attraction

What ever happened to the 136-foot-long Japanese fishing vessel that ran aground on the coral reef off Ala Moana Park in 1962?

Of all the things washed up on Oahu's shorelines, few were as noticeable as the Hiroshima Maru II.

Jammed into the reef during a storm, the ship stayed there for more than two months in 1962. Newspapers called it "the biggest attraction in town," as tourists and locals lined the beach park to watch Navy rescue efforts.

Repeated efforts to free the ship failed under the weight of its cargo -- 300 tons of frozen tuna and gallons of water inside its hull. It took the Navy 16 days to free the ship.

Its owner abandoned it in February that year. For more than a year, the ship's fate remained undecided. Local firms hoped to buy it for parts when the federal government planned to sink it.

But at the 11th hour, Dillingham Corp. bought it for $26,000. After returning to Japan in December 1963, the repaired ship was sold to a Korean firm for $80,000.

Dillingham donated the tuna to Oahu Prison, now Oahu Community Correctional Center, and inmates converted it to compost that was sold to local builders.

Michelle Cournoyer, Star-Bulletin

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