Process continues for removal of vessels displaced in Puerto Rico by 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, Oct. 28, 2017. 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, Oct. 28, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo

SAN JUAN – The ESF 10 Unified Command assessment teams began tagging vessels Saturday with a large red sticker as part of the second phase of vessel removal operations in Puerto Rico.

The Unified Command is requesting those owners with a sticker to call (786) 521-3900, a vessel hotline established by the ESF 10 command post in Puerto Rico, to either report their vessels removal plan, or to request support in it’s removal, or that the vessel was already removed.

Vessel owners are highly encouraged to reach out for information on removal options. There is no cost, penalty or fine associated with working with ESF 10 to remove vessels.

An outreach program under the ESF 10 mission is attempting to reach as many vessel owners as possible by local news, radio, television, social media outlets, telephone and direct contact, given the understanding that a majority of residents are still without power, Internet or cellular connectivity.

The Department of Natural and Environmental Resources 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 an Emergency Support Function 10 (ESF 10) command post in Puerto Rico, with the mission of overseeing the assessment, mitigation and removal of hazardous substances and vessels from Puerto Rico’s ports and waterways in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

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