MARINE ACCIDENT REPORT: SINKING OF THE M/V HOLOHOLO IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN NEAR THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS, DECEMBER 1978
About 1437, on December 9, 1978, the MV HOLOHOLO departed Honolulu Harbor, Island of Oahu, on the second of six planned 6-day voyages involving an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion research project that the University of Hawaii had contracted to perform over a 1-year period at a site centered about 17 nmi west of Kawaihae, Island of Hawaii. The 10 persons on board were the owner, a licensed master of research vessels, a hydraulic mechanic, and 7 scientists associated with the research to be conducted. The voyage intinerary included plans to rendezvous with two scientists who were to board the vessel in Kawaihae Harbor at daybreak on December 11, 1978, but the HOLOHOLO did not arrive as planned. Despite an extensive air-sea search by the Coast Guard, the Navy, the Air Force, the University, and others, the HOLOHOLO was not found. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the operation of the MV HOLOHOLO in an unseaworthy condition as directed by the owner and accepted by the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii. Contributing to the vessel's unseaworthiness were a 2-ft by 4-ft opening in the after main deck and a large opening in the aftermost deckhouse bulkhead that would allow rapid internal flooding, unsealed below-deck bulkhead penetrations that would allow progressive flooding, inadequate freeing ports that would allow shipped water to be trapped on deck, and the insufficient number of qualified operating personnel to provide a 24-hour navigation watch. The lack of a distress signal or radio message might have contributed to the loss of life.
Washington, DC United States 20594
- Publication Date: 1980-9-29
- Pagination: 34 p.
- TRT Terms: Crash investigation; Floods; Marine safety; Reports; Research ships; Shipwrecks; Water transportation crashes
- Geographic Terms: Hawaii; Pacific Ocean
- Old TRIS Terms: Holoholo (Vessel)
- Subject Areas: Hydraulics and Hydrology; Marine Transportation; Safety and Human Factors;
- Accession Number: 00649496
- Record Type: Publication
- Source Agency: Maritime Technical Information Facility
- Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB-MAR-80-15
- Files: TRIS
- Created Date: Jul 21 1994 12:00AM