Crews accelerate salvage operations in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Rich Bassin affixes a reference sticker to a sunken boat caused by Hurricane Maria in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. The Maria ESF-10 PR Unified Command, consisting of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, U.S. Coast Guard in conjunction with the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Control Board, Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. and Fish & Wildlife Service, is responding to vessels found to be damaged, displaced, submerged or sunken. The ESF 10 is the framework by which federal support is coordinated with state agencies in response to actual or potential oil spills or hazardous material releases. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo

U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Rich Bassin affixes a reference sticker to a sunken boat caused by Hurricane Maria in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
The Maria ESF-10 PR Unified Command, consisting of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, U.S. Coast Guard in conjunction with the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Control Board, Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. and Fish & Wildlife Service, is responding to vessels found to be damaged, displaced, submerged or sunken.
The ESF 10 is the framework by which federal support is coordinated with state agencies in response to actual or potential oil spills or hazardous material releases.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo

SAN JUAN – Salvage crews from the Hurricane Maria ESF-10 Puerto Rico response began the first crane barge operations today in San Juan Harbor to lift, secure, and remove vessels stranded by Hurricane Maria.

Maria ESF-10 Puerto Rico is removing damaged vessels, which pose pollution and environmental threats, at no cost or penalty to the vessel owners. Under the direction of the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, the goal is to remove each vessel while mitigating public health risk, preserving native habitat, and increasing the Commonwealth’s ability to reconstitute.

Vessel owners in need of assistance are asked to call the Hurricane Maria Vessel Hotline at (786) 521-3900 to request free support from the unified command to remove a vessel, report a vessel removal plan, or report a vessel that has already been removed.

As of today, response teams have identified 357 impacted vessels, 141 of which have since been removed. Teams have made contact with 159 owners, and responded to 33 pollution reports.

The DNR and the U.S. Coast Guard in conjunction with the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Control Board, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service stood up the ESF-10 command post in Puerto Rico Sept. 27, 2017, after Hurricane Maria struck the island on Sept. 19.

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