The Navy war plane that slid off a runway at Marine Corps Base Hawaii a week ago while trying to land in rainy weather continues to rest in shallow water about 100 feet off the runway, with at least two points of the 42-foot-high P-8A sitting on coral reef.
U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda—who lives nearby in Kaneohe with her husband and two school-age sons—toured the site Saturday and said the plane was unarmed when it missed its landing and ended up in water so shallow that the plane's doors “are completely above water, ” Tokuda told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Sunday.
Even before the P-8A mishap, the Marines already had a boom in place around the runway as a precaution to prevent contaminants from leeching into the ocean, Tokuda said.
“The plane essentially slid into the water, ” Tokuda said. “It literally slid right into that boom like a lei.”
The plane has since been surrounded by a second boom, along with “hydrophobic absorbent material ” designed to absorb potential toxic material from the plane.
But Tokuda said she saw no sheen on the surface of the water indicating potential leaking during her hourlong visit to the runway Saturday.
“The water was absolutely clear, ” she said.
She indicated the direction of her nearby house to Navy and Marine Corps officials and emphasized the importance of communicating to the public about their plans to remove the plane, prevent any further environmental damage…