Coast Guard to oversee salvage of aground Mexican shrimper

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard will oversee a salvage operation Sunday, to remove a Mexican shrimper that ran aground on South Padre Island while attempting to seek refuge from Tropical Storm Dolly.

The 67-foot Mexican shrimper Jackie C was one of nearly 70 Mexican vessels seeking safe harbor in the Port of Brownsville from Tropical Storm Dolly. They ran aground around 9 p.m. Tuesday night.

The Coast Guard delivered a radio to the crew of the Jackie C. via helicopter shortly after being notified that the vessel was aground. The Coast Guard has been in constant communication with the vessel’s crew and has monitored their safety.

The Mexican shrimper Jackie C. aground on South Padre Island, Texas, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. As 67 fishing vessels sought safe refuge in the Port of Brownsville to escape heavy seas from Tropical Storm Dolly, three of the vessels ran aground. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Corpus Christi)

The Mexican shrimper Jackie C. aground on South Padre Island, Texas, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Corpus Christi)

The four-person crew of the shrimper remained aboard the vessel throughout the grounding and requested no further assistance from the Coast Guard or state and local officials. As with all cases of ships running aground, there is potential for oil pollution from onboard fuel and oil tanks. The Coast Guard and the Texas General Land Office have been continuously monitoring the shrimper for oil discharge and so far, have seen no pollution.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Brownsville and the Incident Management Division from Sector Corpus Christi have worked closely with the shrimper’s owner to develop and approve a salvage plan. The salvage operation may begin as early as Sunday morning under supervision of Coast Guard personnel.

“We have worked closely with the owners of the vessel to come up with a viable plan to remove the Jackie C from our beach,” said Lt. John Robertson, the supervisor of Marine Safety Detachment Brownsville. “Our primary concern is the safety of the people involved in the operation and to protect the local environment from any oil or fuel discharge that may occur.”

The cause of the grounding is still under investigation.

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