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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 5, 2010

Grounded vessel off Kalaeloa pulled free

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

The Liberian-flagged Voge Trader, a 734-foot bulk carrier, ran aground this morning near the channel to Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor, the US Coast Guard stated today. The vessel is not blocking the channel but the salvage operation is preventing other vessels from arriving and departing. The vessel is visible in this shot from Makakilo Heights.

DEBORAH BOOKER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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A Liberian-flagged bulk carrier that ran aground off Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor this morning has been pulled free.

The 734-foot Voge Trader ran aground at 7:25 a.m. on the Diamond Head side of the entrance channel to the harbor. The vessel was not blocking the channel, but salvage operations prevented at least one vessel from entering the harbor.
This afternoon, the vessel’s owner and a salvage company worked to free the Voge Trader. The plan involved ballasting one side of the vessel in order to raise the other side that was grounded, said Lt. John Titchen, U.S. Coast Guard spokesman.
At about 2:50 this afternoon, tug boats were able to pull the vessel free, Titchen said. The Voge Trader was then towed to the side of the channel for temporary repairs, he said.
The Coast Guard initially was concerned that the grounded vessel would release oil, but Titchen said there was no release of oil.
The cause of the grounding is under investigation. As part of the probe, the harbor pilot who was on the vessel at the time of the incident was subjected to routine drugs and alcohol testing, Titchen said.
“We’re happy with the results of pulling it free and the next step would be determine whether those temporary repairs can be made so that it can continue into Barbers Point,” he said.
The Voge Trader was carrying a load of coal from Australia. There are no reported injuries to the crew or pilot.