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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, September 4, 2004

Ship ready for research on reefs

Jim Bostick, Recompression Chamber Supervisor, shows the chamber used to recompress a "bent" diver on the Hi'ialakai, commissioned yesterday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The 224-foot vessel will support NOAA's National Ocean Service and the Coral Reef Conservation program, which includes the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and other coral reefs in the Pacific. Hi'ialakai ("embracing pathways to the sea"), a former Navy ship launched in 1984, was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard, then to NOAA, which spent $4 million to convert it for research. The crew of 24 officers and 21 scientists will map, monitor and manage more than 3 million acres of coral reefs in partnership with the state, University of Hawai'i, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Coast Guard.

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser