NTSB investigates why Young Brothers’ containers went overboard

Local News

12 of the 21 Young Brothers containers that went overboard in Hilo Harbor have yet to be seen. But the company is making progress. This comes as the National Transportation Safety Board will now be involved in the investigation. We’re told a 250-ton crane will lift the containers out of the water hopefully by Wednesday morning. Mariners need to be extra careful while going through the area because of the containers still in the water.

The U.S. Coast Guard tells us Young Brothers has hired a salvage team and towed and secured 2 containers. Another 2 have been located and marked These four are part of the original cluster of nine that were spotted.

“Only one container was found to have hazardous materials and it’s in the form of small household cleaners and usage materials, and that container is still on the barge and not in the water,” said Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir.

Aircraft overflights were conducted on Tuesday with no additional sightings. 12 containers are still unaccounted for. While Coast Guard is the lead agency, the National Transportation Safety Board is also involved.

“Anytime we have a maritime incident we work with NTSB. Some of the incidents that we have they don’t end up doing anything with or they leave in our jurisdiction, but it’s just good practice to reach out to them,” said Muir.

We asked the Hawaii Shippers Council President Michael Hansen about the accident. He says he’s skeptical about concerns that the barge was overloaded because that would be a violation.

“The real question is: was the stowage, the way the cargo was loaded on the barge, and the securing of those containers, was it adequate?” said Hansen. “And that is what I would imagine the investigators are looking at at this time.”

Young Brothers says it released the undamaged cargo and made it available to customers in Hilo. In a statement sent to us on Tuesday the company says:
“Notwithstanding this unfortunate incident, the first loss of containers overboard in more than 20 years, we are proud of our track record of safely transporting what matters most to Hawaii. Young Brothers has secured a third-party to conduct an independent investigation, and we are working closely with state and federal authorities to determine the cause of the accident. We look forward to sharing more information following the conclusion of the investigations.”

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