POSTED: Thursday, February 05, 2009

Ailing sailor airlifted from ship

HILO » A sailor suffering from severe abdominal pain o n a cargo ship 80 miles east of Hilo was evacuated by two Coast Guard aircraft yesterday morning, the Coast Guard said.

The 57-year-old crewman, whose name was not released, was picked up from the vessel Luo Ba by Coast Guard personnel who hoisted him onto an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

The aircraft then flew to Hilo, where the patient was transferred to a Coast Guard C-130 plane, which flew him to Barbers Point Air Station.

From there a city ambulance transported the man to the Queen's Medical Center.


Diamond Head to close for repairs

Diamond Head will be closed for two days this month for rock maintenance, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The area will be closed on Feb. 18 and 19 so crews can do additional rock scaling of potential rockfall hazards above the Kahala entrance tunnel to the crater.

The December rain loosened rock material above the entrance tunnel to the state monument, said department Director Laura Thielen.

The entrance will be closed to all vehicle and foot traffic.

The last time the summit trail was closed was from Oct. 20 to Nov. 20 to conduct maintenance of the slopes.

The maintenance of the areas is the first phase of the state's planned upgrades to the historic summit trail.

The contractor for the current project is Prometheus Construction, and the contract is for $384,000.


2 flood assistance centers to close

Disaster recovery centers set up in Laie and Waianae to assist residents affected by floodwaters caused by heavy rain in mid-December will close at 5 p.m. Saturday.

The centers are at Laie Shopping Center, 55-510 Kamehameha Highway, and the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, 86-260 Farrington Highway.

The disaster recovery center at Waialua Community Association, at the Haleiwa Gym, 66-434 Kamehameha Highway, will remain open from noon to 8 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays until further notice.

Representatives at the centers can provide assistance to Oahu residents with questions about the application process and grant programs under the Federal Emergency Management Agency as well as disaster loans by the Small Business Administration.

Those who have not yet registered for assistance are encouraged to register before visiting one of the centers by calling (800) 621-FEMA (3362) or TTY (800) 462-7585 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Oahu residents can also register online at