• News

USCG shifts focus of Maui fire response efforts

Written by Marine Log Staff
USCG Maui fires response

USCG is shifting the focus of its Maui fire response to minimizing maritime environmental impacts

The U.S. Coast Guard said yesterday that first responders are shifting the focus of their Maui fire response to minimizing maritime environmental impacts, while remaining ready to respond to any new reports of individuals in the water.

The Coast Guard has deployed pollution response teams and equipment to affected locations, to include a 100-foot boom placed at the mouth of the Lahaina Harbor, to contain potential hazardous contaminants and materials.

“While the Coast Guard is always postured for search and rescue operations, we are also focused on minimizing maritime environmental impacts as a result of the Maui fires,” said Cmdr. Kyra Dykeman, the deputy incident commander for the Coast Guard Maui fire response. “We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the community we serve.”

The Coast Guard has a safety zone established from Wahikuli Wayside Park to Launiupoko Beach Park, extending one nautical mile seaward from the shoreline.

The safety zone, enforced by the Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team Honolulu, remains in effect as potential hazards in the waterway are still being evaluated. Safety zones are critical in protecting people, vessels, and the marine environment. In this response, the safety zone aids our partner agencies and first responders by allowing them to facilitate operational mandates and conduct thorough assessments without physical disruption by outside sources.

Coast Guard divers from Regional Dive Locker Pacific, in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are using side-scan sonar and a submersible remote operated vehicle to map the Lahaina Channel and coastline off Lahaina in order to detect hazards that would make the channel unsafe for passage.

The Coast Guard National Strike Force (NSF) arrived on Maui, Friday, to aid in the environmental response operation. The NSF provides highly trained, experienced personnel and specialized equipment to the Coast Guard and other federal agencies to facilitate responses to oil and hazardous substance pollution incidents in order to protect public health and the environment.


Meantime, Matson said Sunday that, as part of its response, it was using an extra barge chartered to support anticipated relief efforts for Maui and had sailed the barge, Columbia, to transport emergency response equipment and supplies to Maui for the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and the Hawaii Food Industry Association (HFIA).

The special sailing arrived at Kahului at 7:00 a.m., Sunday, carrying 32 large generators, including two 30,000-pound units and one 84,000-pound trailer generator set, as well as four 40-foot containers of bottled water to Maui for FEMA. Also onboard were four generators proviided by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office and three 40-foot refrigerated containers – two containing perishable food and one filled with ice – sent by the Hawaii Food Industry Association (HFIA).

Matson is also transporting one diesel generator on the barge to provide extra support for refrigerated containers in its Kahului Terminal, and 30 chassis trailers to support anticipated additional cargo volumes on Maui.

Matson’s barge Haleakala arrived at Kahului on its normal schedule Friday morning, delivering 191 containers of goods.

Cargo operations at Maui’s Kahului Harbor continue uninterrupted and unaffected by the wildfires in other areas of the island and Matson’s twice weekly service to Maui continues as normal.

Matson is working closely with Federal, State, and County emergency response agencies to speed delivery of emergency equipment and supplies to Maui as part of the ongoing crisis response.

Matson operates a hub-and-spoke system in Hawaii, sailing mainline containerships between the U.S. West Coast and Honolulu three times a week, with connecting service to the Neighbor Islands on owned barges. It will maintain its normal schedule of barge arrivals at Kahului on Tuesdays and Fridays and operate special additional sailings as needed to support emergency response. So far, the company has scheduled one other extra Maui sailing on Sunday, August 20.

In another response related development, The Weather Channel reports that local charter boat operators are also stepping up to shuttle supplies to Maui

Categories: News Tags: , , , , , , , , ,