At least 21 shipping containers fell from overboard into the ocean near Hilo Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Nine of the 40-foot (12-meter) shipping containers were located and 12 remained missing, the Coast Guard said.
The crew of the tug and barge Ho Omaka Hou saw the containers were missing after mooring in Hilo. Containers were reportedly adrift approximately 8 miles (12.87 kilometers) north of Hilo and one was reported adrift in Hilo Harbor, the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard is investigating and shipping company Young Brothers is working with a salvage team to locate and recover as many containers as possible. No injuries were reported.
A Young Brothers spokesman said the company would be releasing a statement Monday.
The Coast Guard issued a warning to mariners to keep a lookout for containers that may pose a hazard to navigation.