HONOLULU — Rescue teams from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, Coast Guard Station Honolulu and Maui Fire Department came to the aid of two different mariners on the west side of Maui Saturday.
The Coast Guard assisted boaters aboard a 20-foot recreational vessel taking on water and assisted two persons aboard a disabled jet ski. Honolulu based Coast Guard Search and Rescue Coordinators received a mayday transmission from the vessel’s crew at approximately 4:55 p.m. and a cell phone call from the disabled jet skiers at 5:49 p.m.
Rescue coordinators launched a Station Honolulu 45-foot Response Boat Medium rescue boat and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point to provide assistance to the disabled vessels. A Maui County Fire Department rescue boat was also dispatched to the scene to assist the boaters.
A rescue swimmer aboard the Dolphin was lowered to provide the boaters aboard the recreational vessel with a dewatering pump. With the pump aboard, the boaters were able to control the flooding and restart the vessel’s engines. The vessel was safely escorted to Kepuhi Bay by a Maui County Fire Department rescue boat.
With the recreational vessel underway to safety, the Air Station Barbers Point based helicopter and Station Honolulu rescue boat diverted to assist the disabled jet skiers. The helicopter arrived on scene and remained in the area until the Coast Guard rescue boat reached the jet ski’s location. The jet ski was towed to Kepuhi Bay, Molokai.
A Kihei man is dead this morning – the onlyvictim in an early morning crash on Wailea Alanui, near the Fairmont Kea Lani Resort.
The accident occurred around 12:27 a.m. about a mile north of Kuikahi Street. Police say a 28 year-old male was riding a Kawasaki motorcycle when he apparently failed to negotiate a curve. He struck a median then a tree and died at the scene. Police say there was no indication the man was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
His identity is being withheld pending notification of family members. Police reopened the road to traffic at 4:30 this morning following their on-scene investigation. The traffic fatality is the 11th in Maui County this year, compared with nine at this time last year.
UPDATE at 7:30 p.m., July 31: The victim in this crash has been identified as 28 year-old Kenneth J. Talbot III of Kihei.
Soap and water can keep kids clean, but keeping children protected from radiation may require more than just a soapy concoction.
A Hawaii company is spraying its light-blue decontamination gel onto surfaces of a small kindergarten in Fukushima, Japan, where children currently stay inside all day to avoid dangerous nuclear pollution.
If this weekend’s decontamination of Asahimachi Baptist Church and School is successful and more effective than the traditional soap and water scrub downs, Honolulu-based CBI Polymers hopes to expand use of their product, called DeconGel, to many other hot spots affected by radiation leaked from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. The plant was severely damaged after the March 11 tsunami and earthquakes.
Workers for the company were at the school beginning Friday to spray DeconGel onto concrete and tile surfaces, where they’re accompanied by a researcher who will measure the product’s success.
As the spray hardens, it absorbs radiation particles, and then the coat can be peeled from surfaces and rolled into a carpet-like cylinder for safe disposal. Unlike water, the gel encapsulates harmful chemicals so it’s safe to touch, the company said.
“The kids have been kept from playing outside. Their parents’ view is, ‘Why would we take the risk and have the additional exposure of having them play in the playground?’” asked Shaun McCabe, president of Asia-Pacific systems for CBI Polymers, during a phone interview from Japan. The company donated $250,000 for the school cleanup, including gel and labor costs.
After the DeconGel is removed and contaminated playground dirt replaced, the school’s 30 children could escape their indoor confines, where radiation levels are far lower, McCabe said. The school is located in Fukushima City, about 31 miles away from the nuclear reactors.
In small tests at the school last month, the gel eliminated about 90 percent of radionuclides, said Cham Dallas, a University of Georgia public health professor measuring how well the product works at the Fukushima school this weekend.
“If it works in one school, it could be applied in many larger areas,” he said.
Existing methods for reducing radiation levels generally involve washing walls and concrete with soap and water, which can lead to radioactive material flowing into public water systems, he said.
Even after the water process was tried at the school, his tests still found levels around 5,000 counts per minute in the school’s entryway, which is below the Japanese government’s action standard but still threatening over time. Areas untainted by radiation would have about 5 or 10 counts per minute.
“Soap and water does remove radionuclides, but there’s a lot that’s left behind,” he said. “You flush it down the drain and forget about it, but it’s not a very wise way of disposing radionuclides.”
Decontamination of the Fukushima area will likely take about 20 years, and local governments need to decide what methods they’ll use, Dallas said.
Water is by far Japan’s most common radiation cleaning technique. Several other peelable decontamination products also are available, but none has been widely used.
“The world is going to find out that DeconGel is the killer app of decontamination products. We’re trying to get it used in as wide of an application as we can,” said CBI Polymers CEO Galen Ho in Honolulu, noting he expects an order next week from Japan Self-Defense Forces to clean contaminated vehicles, bulldozers and tow trucks.
DeconGel costs $151 per gallon retail, which is a similar price as bottom paint for the hull of a commercial boat, he said. In comparison, high-quality oil-based paints cost about $80 per gallon.
Asahimachi Baptist Church and School was chosen for decontamination because it already has a connection to Hawaii, McCabe said. Some of the school’s students and teachers traveled to the islands in the chaotic weeks after March 11.
Maui first reponders were extremely busy in the eary hours of this moirning. A vehicle accident in the southbound lanes of Wailea Alanui near the Fairmont Kea Lani Resort happened shortly after 12:30 a ..m. Maui Police have reported at least one fatality. More details will be released later this morning.
The road was closed during their on-scene investigation. Walea Alanui reopened to all trafic at 4:30 this morning.
Shortly before that incident, Firefighters responded to a brush fire along Kuihelani Highway near Maui Lani Parkway. The fire was first reported at midnight. Ma’alaea-bound traffic was stopped and turned around at the scene.
By 1 a.m. the fire was under control and Police allowed traffic through in both directions again. Details on the fire will also be released later this morning.
The Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) and the Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) today brought together high school coaches from around Maui to attend their first-ever HMSA Kaimana Coaches Clinic. The clinic, part of the HMSA Kaimana Awards & Scholarship Program, was held at Maui High School and offered a variety of presentations on some of the top challenges facing coaches.
“Coaching high school sports and working with student athletes is far more complicated these days,” said Elisa Yadao, HMSA vice president of community affairs, marketing, and communications. “Coaches must be knowledgeable about many important issues, from recognizing the signs of drug use, to preventing concussions, to working with officials and other coaches. At today’s clinic, coaches learned about these issues and networked with their peers and the experts.”
Speakers presented information on the following topics:
“We accomplished a lot at today’s Coaches Clinic,” said Shimabukuro. “The coaches now have a deeper understanding of drug trends among young people and how to help their student athletes avoid abusing drugs.” Shimabukuro spoke about legal, illegal, and designer drugs that have become part of the current drug culture.
The HMSA Kaimana Awards & Scholarship Program recognizes and rewards student excellence in athletics, academics, sportsmanship, and community service. The program also supports coaches’ education. Today’s HMSA Kaimana Coaches Clinic in Kahului is part of a series of clinics being conducted this month across the state.
On June 25, the annual HMSA Kaimana Awards & Scholarship Program ceremony was held at the Hawaii Prince Hotel on Oahu, where Hawaii’s top schools received awards and outstanding athletes from across the state were awarded scholarships. For more information on the HMSA Kaimana Awards & Scholarship Program, visit hmsa.com.
Another strong earthquake has jolted northeastern Japan, the same region struck by March’s massive quake and tsunami, the U.S. Geological Survey said this morning.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, and no tsunami warning is in effect.
The USGS said the earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck at 3:53 a.m. Sunday in Japan (8:53 a.m. Saturday in Hawaii) about 11 miles east-southeast of Iwaki on Honshu Island. Its depth was 27 miles, an its epicenter is 114 miles northeast of Tokyo.
About 23,000 people died or were left missing across wide swaths of Japan’s northeast coastline after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Another 80,000 have been forced to evacuate their homes because of the radiation threat from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.
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