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Wayne Parsons
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Micronesian Crewman Killed in Boat Fire on M/V Manaloa at Pier 38

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The Manaloa, a 75-foot fishing vessel had just returned from 30 days at sea with 20,000 pounds of Ahi in the hold. The crew had gone ashore to rest and one crew member was on the Manaloa when a fire started at about 10 P.M. Saturday night near at Pier 38 according to a report in the Honolulu Advertiser. The lone crew member aboard had been drinking according to news reports and a propane stove was found near the wheel well area. It appears that he had attempted to cook some food. The investigation is continuing.

According to KHON TV News, the Manaloa fishing vessel, returned home with approximately 20,000 pounds of fish after spending several weeks at sea.

According to Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Earle Kealoha:

At about 10:15 last night, fire units responded to a report of a fire on a boat docked at Pier 38. The fire took a little more than 15 minutes to contain. It appears to have started in the crew living quarters area behind the wheelhouse of a 75-foot commercial Police initially did not find the lone crew member on the boat. They learned after putting out the fire that someone else may boat and returned to the boat where they found the body of a Micronesian man in his 30s in an auxiliary space below the wheelhouse and just forward of the engine room. Firefighters brought the man’s body up onto the pier.

According to fire officials, some of the crew members went out to drink, and later one of ‘em decided to go back to the boat to cook something.

"He’s drink, inside broke window, go inside, and cooking, sleeping, blow up," said Seok Kim, the Captain’s friend.

Witness, Lonne Fiero said, "I saw smoke and the fire engines were already here hooking up their water trying to put it out."

"Shortly after arrival we had reports that there might have been someone still aboard the ship. After the fire was contained our crews did go down to the lower sections of the vessel and we did find a male approximately in his 30’s," said HFD Captain Earle Kealoha. "This was the only individual aboard the boat."

The KITV News Video shows the charred structure of the boat.

It is unknown who the Micronesian crew member was or whether he had any family here to look out for his affairs and investigate a Jones Act claim that could benefit his family back home. I believe he may be from Ponape. If his negligence was the sole cause of his death then his family may not want to pursue a claim but someone should investigate the matter for the family to determine what happened and explain the law to them. Since the crew member is dead, he can’t tell us what happened or defend himself if others say he was at fault. If he has a family back in Micronesia, they may be entitled to compensation under The Jones Act.