Removal of vessels displaced in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria continues

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. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo

SAN JUAN – Vessel removal operations continue in Puerto Rico as part of Hurricane Maria recovery efforts.

As part of the unified recovery effort, assessment teams continue to identify vessels in need of assistance.

Officials are requesting owners of vessels, with a warning sticker affixed to their vessel, to call (786) 521-3900. Vessel owners should call this hotline to report a vessel removal plan, to request support to remove a vessel, or to report a vessel has already been removed.

Vessel owners are highly encouraged to call the hotline to receive information on vessel removal options. There is no cost, penalty or fine associated with working with the unified command to remove vessels.

To date the unified effort has identified 344 vessels in need of assistance, placed assistance stickers on 221 vessels, closed 119 cases, made contact with 114 owners and responded to 31 reports of vessel pollution.

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 the 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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