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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, February 6, 2010

Grounded cargo vessel pulled free off Kalaeloa

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

A Liberian-flagged bulk carrier that ran aground off Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor yesterday was pulled free. The Voge Trader ran aground at 7:25 a.m. on the diamondhead side of the entrance channel to the harbor.

JASON DENIS | Genesis Aviation

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A 734-foot-long cargo ship was undergoing temporary repairs late yesterday after it was pulled free from a grounding in the entrance channel to Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor.

The Voge Trader, a Liberian-flagged bulk cargo carrier bringing a load of coal from Australia, ran aground at 7:25 a.m. on the diamondhead side of the entrance channel to the harbor.

A harbor pilot was on the vessel at the time of the incident, said Lt. John Titchen, U.S. Coast Guard spokesman. The cause of the grounding was under investigation. The harbor pilot was subjected to routine drug and alcohol testing, Titchen said.

The ship did not block the channel, but salvage operations prevented at least one vessel from entering the harbor.

A salvage company loaded ballast on the port side of the Voge Trader to raise the starboard side enough to allow tug boats to pull the ship free about 2:50 p.m.

Coast Guard responders reported a crack at the bottom of the hull amidships where there is a double-bottom fuel tank. Water had gotten into the fuel tank but there was no leaking of fuel into the ocean, the Coast Guard said.

"We're happy with the results of pulling it free and the next step would be to determine whether those temporary repairs can be made so that it can continue into Barbers Point," Titchen said.

There were no reported injuries to the crew or pilot.