Last month, a 79-foot aging fishing vessel called the Pacific Paradise ran aground in an unlikely spot less than 400 yards off the reef fronting Kaimana Beach in Waikiki. The small vessel had twenty passengers including the captain at the time and all were rescued with no injuries. Officials estimated there were just under 3,000 gallons of diesel, 50 gallons of hydraulic oil, and four marine batteries aboard. The Coast Guard has done a good job so far ensuring the pristine waters have been protected. Reasons for the vessel grounding in the middle of Waikiki are still under investigation.
Salvage crews have made several attempts to remove the vessel but so far they’ve been unable because of the ship’s poor structural condition. As of now, just before Thanksgiving, those crews have started removing steel plates to lighten the vessel as well as welding some structure supports into its hull, hoping they can strengthen it enough to make a final removal possible. They will tow it to an EPA approved site and sink her, adding to Oʻahu’s scuba diver attractions while simultaneously creating new homes for marine life.
The bad news is the wreck is an eyesore for famed Waikiki. The good news is the tested water quality is fine, and most importantly for at least one daredevil, the old Pacific Paradise has created a surfable left if one doesn’t mind a few knee deep coral heads and possibly buckling your board.