Coast Guard Helps Univ. Of Hawaii Research Vessel

Published January 7, 2012 2:36AM (EST)

HONOLULU (AP) — A boat carrying a group of scientists on a University of Hawaii Marine Center research trip was headed back to shore Friday after it began taking on water 60 miles north of Oahu.

The U.S. Coast Guard delivered pumps to the 186-foot Kilo Moana after the crew reported taking on 400 gallons per hour because of a baseball-sized hole in the boat's hull.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Kurt Fredrickson said the boat's pumps weren't working and crew members began preparing life rafts in case they needed to abandon ship.

But they eventually got the flooding under control using the Coast Guard pumps, said Ross Barnes, UH Marine Center port operations manager.

Forty scientists and crew members left Wednesday for the five-day research trip. The ordeal cut the trip short, and the vessel was headed back to Oahu.

Meanwhile, the four-person crew of a sardine fishing boat was safe after their vessel capsized in rough seas late Thursday about two miles off the coast of Santa Cruz, Calif.

The Coast Guard said Moss Landing-based crew members of the 58-foot boat scrambled into a smaller boat as their main vessel took on water from big waves and sank.

Coast Guard Lt. John Suckow told the Santa Cruz Sentinel ( that the captain of the boat, named the Stikine, made a mayday call around midnight, minutes before the boat sank. A nearby fishing boat heard the distress call and picked up the crew about 15 minutes later.

The accident came amid 11-foot swells that have prompted high surf advisories for the Central California coast.

By Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------