11 Rescued After Tug Sinks Off Hawaii

nalani tug
File image (c) William J. Cooke/MarineTraffic.com

The U.S. Coast Guard reports the 95-foot tug Nalani unexpectedly sank on the afternoon of Thursday, 23 January in waters approximately 2,200 feet deep (670 meters) two and half miles west of Barbers Point Harbor, Oahu.  The eleven mariners on board were all rescued by the towing vessel Tiger 7 and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) patrol boat.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the sinking is unknown and under investigation.  An eyewitness says the vessel listed hard over before sinking by the stern.

The vessel was carrying an estimated 75,000 gallons of diesel fuel and an oil sheen was observed by Coast Guard responders following the incident.

Nalani was built in 1981 and was sold by Kirby Corporation approximately one year ago, according to Kirby spokesperson Matt Woodruff.

The Coast Guard is conducting an investigation into the cause of the sinking and has begun interviews with the crew.

All 11 survivors were wearing lifejackets, the Coast Guard said.

By the end of the day on Friday, U.S. Coast Guard oil response crews managed to collect 500 gallons of diesel which had accumulated on the surface of the sea.

diesel oil spill

In the above photo via the U.S. Coast Guard, a red diesel sheen is shown approximately seven miles south of Honolulu Airport. The USCG, Department of Health and responsible party established a Unified Command in response to the environmental consequences of the vessel’s sinking.