Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Marine Debris Sinks Fishing Vessel In Hawaii

Sometimes as ecologists, it is easy to get stuck on natural implications of events, rather than the human element. I know I am often guilty of that, as are most biologists.  However, checking in with our 'human side' is very important every now and then.  An event that took place on Monday in Hawaii.

On Monday afternoon, the 43-foot vessel Piper was approximately two miles offshore from Hawaii, near the island of Kaho'olawe, a small volcanic island.  The boat ran over a large piece of rope used to tied up ships - called a hauler line- which was then entangled in the propeller. The rope was so caught up that a hole was torn in the vessel, at which point the boat started to sink.

The ship's crew sent out a Mayday signal, and attempted to save the vessel by cutting the entangled line and bailing water, but once the boat continued to sink and electrical power was lost, they abandoned ship by boarding a lifeboat that was onboard.