Navy dive team attempt to remove fuel from Hawaii’s water

HONOLULU (AP) – US Navy divers attempt to remove fuel from a water well in Red Hill, near Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

Divers are starting to make headway and are now able to begin “skimming” contaminants that have floated to the surface, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported on Monday.

“These are the first steps, we’ll have to see where the Navy goes next. But at least we’re assessing how well we can start to foam, ”said Chief Warrant Officer Jose Castilla, commander of Mobile Dive and Recovery Company 1-8.

The water supply serves about 93,000 people.

Navy officials believe about 14,000 gallons (52,995 liters) of jet fuel spilled into the Red Hill bulk fuel storage facility inside an access tunnel that provides lines fire extinguisher and service for the complex. People using Navy water in and near the Pearl Harbor military installation have reported falling ill, and the Navy has moved more than 3,000 families off base to hotels in Oahu. .

When work began, the Navy’s dive team had to wear specialized suits to protect against the dangers of the water. But the suits are bulky and warm, and concerns about overheating in the cramped space forced them to change their approach to protect divers.

“Nothing worked very well from the start, but we were able to make a few minor changes in the way we put things together,” Castilla said.

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