A 260-foot purse seiner ran aground oceanside on the northern reef of Majuro last Thursday, and initial efforts to pull the boat off the reef were unsuccessful. Rescue work was planned for Wednesday, but representatives of the ship company that owns the vessel requested delay until Thursday so a company official from Taiwan could fly in to be onsite for rescue efforts.
The Fong Seong 666 hit the reef overnight last Thursday/Friday. MALGov Police Sheriff Will Lathrop said it is suspected either an untrained crewman was at the helm or someone fell asleep, causing the vessel to ground. It was returning to Majuro after a fishing trip.
Pacific International Inc. had its vessels at the site over the weekend attempting to get the purse seiner moved without initial success. PII re-mobilized its tug boats in an effort to free the vessel Wednesday afternoon, while EPA was also on the scene Wednesday. But this was called off by late afternoon after Fong Seong requested a delay.
Local salvage expert Matt Holly engaged at the site late last week after the incident occurred.
Read more about this in the May 20, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.