Emergency Support Function 10 Florida establishes hotline for owners of displaced vessels

Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Erin O'Shea and Randy Runnels, Preserves Manager for Florida Department of Environmental Protection, work together to pinpoint the exact GPS location and identification for a sunken vessel, near Ward Island, Florida, Pinellas County, October 7, 2017. The Coast Guard is overseeing the removal of vessels displaced by Hurricane Irma throughout Florida. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Romero.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Erin O’Shea and Randy Runnels, Preserves Manager for Florida Department of Environmental Protection, work together to pinpoint the exact GPS location and identification for a sunken vessel, near Ward Island, Florida, Pinellas County, October 7, 2017.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Romero.

MIAMI — The Emergency Support Function 10 (ESF 10) Florida Unified Command is providing a service for boat owners allowing them to relinquish ownership of their damaged vessel to facilitate a quicker response to the pollution and safety concerns left in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Owners of displaced vessels who lack the resources to have their boat repaired or if their vessel is determined to be beyond repair, may hand over ownership of their vessel through a waiver provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, made available through the Vessel Removal Hotline at 305-985-3744.

“If a vessel owner knows that they do not have the financial means to take responsibility for their vessel and would like to turn over their ownership, completing the waiver allows the FWC to quickly dispose of it for them,” said FWC Capt. Jay Marvin, State On-Scene Coordinator. “Eliminating the time to salvage and then store a vessel when the owner does not want to recover it will enable us to remove vessels more quickly from Florida’s waterways.”

The waiver process can be initiated by contacting FWC through the Vessel Removal Hotline and requesting to turn over a displaced vessel. An FWC representative will then contact the owner to explain the waiver process and facilitate the turnover of ownership.

The assessment and removal of vessels displaced by Hurricane Irma continues.

The Unified Command consists of U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. JoAnne Hanson serving as Incident Commander, Mr. Benjamin Franco, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Incident Commander and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Capt. Jay Marvin, as State On-Scene Coordinator.

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. Partner agencies, including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, are contributing expertise and experience to the assessment and removal efforts.

For imagery and video of the Hurricane Irma response, please visit our Flickr page.

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