Damaged Chinese cargo ship to make Honolulu stop

HONOLULU — The 485-foot Chinese-flagged cargo ship Tong Cheng requested authorization for an unscheduled entry into the port of Honolulu to effect repairs to a crack in its hull below the waterline.  

The Coast Guard dispatched a C130 aircraft, a multi-purpose vessel and an assessment team to the Tong Cheng to conduct a preliminary assessment of the damage and to determine if there was any pollution as a result.

A sheen was initially observed; however, the source could not be identified.

Overflights this morning reported no further sighting of pollution. 

The Tong Cheng is approximately 50 miles southwest of O‘ahu and is under constant monitoring by the Coast Guard.

A Unified Command, comprised of the Coast Guard Captain of the Port and representatives from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the state of Hawai‘i, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Shanghai Ocean Shipping Company, Tong Cheng’s owners, are monitoring the situation from Honolulu.

A team of technical experts from the USCG Salvage Engineering Response Team, U.S. Navy Mobile Diving Salvage Unit One, and

commercial entities conducted a thorough assessment of the vessel’s structural integrity while offshore.

Based on that assessment the vessel was granted permission to enter by the captain of the Port Honolulu zone to effect repairs.

The Coast Guard will continue to monitor repairs, and the vessel will receive a safety inspection prior to its departure from Honolulu. 

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