Unified Command continues response efforts of vessel fire off San Juan Harbor

Passengers aboard the 561-foot Caribbean Fantasy ferry vessel use the marine escape system to awaiting lift rafts as they abandon the vessel a mile from San Juan Harbor, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. The Caribbean Fantasy had a fire start in the engine room that spread to other compartments forcing passengers and crew to abandon the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Station San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Passengers aboard the 561-foot Caribbean Fantasy ferry vessel use the marine escape system to awaiting lift rafts as they abandon the vessel a mile from San Juan Harbor, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. The Caribbean Fantasy had a fire start in the engine room that spread to other compartments forcing passengers and crew to abandon the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Station San Juan, Puerto Rico.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Unified Command is responding Thursday to a fire aboard the 561-foot passenger ferry vessel Caribbean Fantasy approximately half a mile off of Punta Salinas.

Full accountability of all 511 passengers including crew evacuated from the passenger ferry vessel has been attained.

Ardent Global is developing a vessel salvage plan for review by the Coast Guard. Coast Guard marine inspectors along with salvage and fire fighting teams are scheduled to board the vessel Thursday to assess damage and determine the stability of the vessel.

The Coast Guard has established a 1,000-yard safety zone around the vessel.There are no reports of sheening or pollution around the vessel at this time. The vessel is being closely monitored and booming has been deployed at the intakes for the Palo Seco Power Plant as a precautionary measure against potential discharge from the vessel. There has also been 14,000-feet of booming pre-staged near Punta Salinas.

The Caribbean Fantasy Response Unified Command consists of the Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board, the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources and Baja Ferries (owner of the Caribbean Fantasy).

Also assisting the response efforts are the American Cruise Ferries, Ardent Global, the Department of Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, the National Response Corporation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Witt O’Brien’s, the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency and the Puerto Rico Fire Department.

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