At least 21 containers were lost from a barge before dawn on Monday June 22nd as it was being towed from Honolulu to Hilo.
The US Coast Guard said that barge Ho Omaka Hou was underway with towing vessel Hoku Loa (IMO 9032795) to Hilo Port when it lost more than 20 40ft containers overboard. Nine had since been located while 12 remained missing. The crew of the tug noticed that the containers were missing after mooring in Hilo. The containers had been lost approximately eight miles north of Hilo, and one was located adrift in Hilo Port.
The USCG said that it was working with Hawaiian inter-island shipping company Young Brothers personnel to assess the situation further, including determining what cargo has been lost. Young Brothers was working with a salvage team to try to recover as many containers as possible.
Marine safety personnel were dispatched to the incident command post in Hilo, and an overflight took place. The State of Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division was assisting at the pier in Hilo.
Watchstanders issued a broadcast notice to mariners to alert any traffic in the area to keep a sharp lookout for any containers that may pose a hazard to navigation. No injuries were reported.
The USCG issued a broadcast notice to mariners to alert nearby vessels to keep watch for any containers that may pose a hazard to navigation.
Young Brothers, a subsidiary of Saltchuk’s Foss Maritime, has been operating a reduced schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hawaii State Senator Kaiali‘i Kahele claimed on social media that the barge was loaded with more containers than usual due to the reduced number of sailings.
1991-built, USA-flagged, 477 gt Hoku-Loa is owned and managed by Young Brothers of Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. It is entered with Steamship Mutual (Americas Syndicate) on behalf of Young Brothers LLC.