Navy Destroyer Aids Distressed Commercial Fishing Boat Near Hawaii

ENS Gabriella St. Angelo, the 1st Lieutenant aboard the USS Daniel Inouye, measures distance to the fishing vessel Sea Diamond with a laser range finder. Photo: U.S. Navy.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Daniel Inouye assisted the commercial fishing vessel Sea Diamond in a towing operation back to Honolulu following a problem with Sea Diamond’s engine in mid-October, the U.S. Navy said.

At about 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 18, the Daniel Inouye received a call from the U.S. Coast Guard to assist the commercial fishing vessel Sea Diamond. The vessel had lost all propulsion and reported a shafting propeller casualty.

Upon making contact with the fishing boat, the Daniel Inouye decided to tow the Sea Diamond back to Honolulu. The ship maintained a speed of 6 knots for about 12 hours before turning over custodianship to the Coast Guard five nautical miles outside of Honolulu Harbor.

Sea Diamond is a 35-year-old U.S.-flagged trawler. The 71-foot long commercial fishing vessel weighs about 100 tons.

At the time of the casualty there were seven crewmembers onboard, including an observer from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration who acted as an interpreter between the Sea Diamond and Inouye crews.

“I am glad that USS Daniel Inouye was in the best position to assist the Sea Diamond,” Cmdr. Dave Haile, Commanding Officer of USS Daniel Inouye, said. “It is our duty to provide help to our fellow mariners whenever and wherever they need it, and the Daniel Inouye’s crew responded admirably and professionally to make sure we could return the Sea Diamond and her crew to safe harbor.”

Following the rescue, the USS Daniel Inouye was expected to make port calls to various Hawai’i Islands for a project known as “Trip Around Islands” that aims to strengthen relations with the Hawaiian people.

More than 40 members of the crew participated in volunteer events on the islands to give back to the community and honor Hawaiian culture.