US Navy plane removed from Hawaii bay after it overshot runway. Coral damage remains to be seen
Officials say a US Navy jet has been moved from a coral reef in an environmentally sensitive bay in Hawaii, where it became stuck nearly two weeks ago after overshooting a runway
By means ofThe Associated Press
December 4, 2023, 1:26 PM
KANEOHE Bay, Hawaii — A U.S. Navy jet has been moved from a coral reef in an environmentally sensitive bay in Hawaii, where it became stuck nearly two weeks ago after overshooting a runway, officials said Monday.
A team worked all weekend to use inflatable cylinders to lift and roll the plane off the reef where it crashed Nov. 20 and move it to the nearby airstrip at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay.
Vice Adm. Kevin Lenox, the commander of Carrier Strike Group 3 leading the $1.5 million recovery, said the absorbent material around the plane showed no evidence of any liquid other than seawater, prompting officials gave confidence that the aircraft had not released any liquid. hazardous materials such as fuel.
None of the nine people on board the P-8A – the military version of a Boeing 737 – were injured. The Navy is investigating the cause of the crash.
The Navy released underwater video last week showing the plane's wheels resting on sections of crushed coral and much of the rest of the plane hovering above the reef.
A Navy team previously removed almost all of the estimated 2,000 gallons (7,500 liters) of fuel from the plane.
Kaneohe Bay is home to coral reefs and lots of other marine life. The area is home to an ancient Hawaiian fishing pond that is being restored by community groups.
Lenox said state divers conducted a preliminary dive this weekend to assess the plane's effect on the coral.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Aquatic Resources was expected to begin a fuller assessment of reef damage on Monday.