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News Around the Fleet

News | Nov. 22, 2023

Update #2: P-8A Mishap in Kaneohe Bay

By From U.S. Third Fleet Public Affairs

Local equipment operators and off-island specialists with experience in aircraft salvage are supporting the Navy to ensure a safe, expeditious and environmentally protective recovery plan for the Navy P-8A Poseidon in waters just off the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay.

As part of the process, a Navy structural engineer arrived on island to analyze the aircraft’s structural integrity. Preliminary assessments indicate the aircraft to be structurally intact, and there have been no signs of fuel leaking. Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, is evaluating recovery options, including reviewing lessons learned from similar incidents.

With the utmost concern for mitigating any potential environmental impacts, a number of environmental protection measures have been employed or are at the ready.

  • Primary and secondary containment booms have been deployed, encircling the entire aircraft, to protect the surrounding marine environment.
  • Hydrophobic absorbent material was also placed as a proactive preventative measure. This material not only helps absorb any potential pollutants but also serves as an effective indicator for the presence of petroleum products, allowing for swift identification and response.
  • A skimmer is on standby, ready to swiftly respond. This proactive measure enhances the ability to quickly remove any pollutants from the water surface, minimizing impact on the marine environment.
  • Specially trained base personnel continue to observe and monitor the area 24-hours-a-day to watch for any changes in the environment. In addition to looking for possible pollutants, personnel are also instructed to keep watch for wildlife and are trained to report any impacted wildlife or any species of interest that are observed in the vicinity

The Navy is convening an investigation to determine the cause and contributing factors of the mishap.

The P-8A crew, assigned to Whidbey Island, Washington-based Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 “Skinny Dragons,” was on a detachment in support of maritime homeland defense. There were nine crewmembers on board – three pilots and six crewmembers (two officer and four enlisted). All crewmembers safely evacuated the aircraft and no injuries were reported. A P-8A and crew assigned to VP-40 “Fighting Marlins” arrived in Hawaii today to assume homeland defense coverage.

More information will be released as it becomes available.

The U.S. Navy fact file on the P-8A Poseidon can be found at the following link: