Search Underway As 21 Containers Fall Overboard From Barge Off Hilo

File photo. PC: Courtesy Young Brothers.

The Coast Guard is searching for a dozen missing containers after 21 40-foot containers fell overboard from a barge as it was transiting to Hilo Harbor this morning.

The tug operator reported that at 4:30 a.m. Monday, several 40-foot shipping containers fell overboard. Nine of those have been located and 12 remained missing at last report.

The crew of the tug Hoku Lo and the barge Ho Omaka Hou recognized the containers were missing after mooring in Hilo, according to the US Coast Guard. The containers are reportedly adrift approximately 8 miles north of Hilo, and one is reported adrift in Hilo Harbor.

The Coast Guard is investigating the incident, and Young Brothers is working with a salvage team to locate and recover as many containers as possible.  They are also working to determine what cargo is lost.

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.

Marine safety personnel were dispatched to the incident command post in Hilo, and an overflight is taking place. The State of Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation – Harbors Division is also aware and assisting at the pier in Hilo.

At the time of the incident, the weather was east winds at 12 mph, waves to 4 feet with a south swell at 3 feet, and isolated showers.  No injuries are reported.

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