Vessel salvage crews continue clean-up operations in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

Salvage crews, directed by the Coast Guard and working in support of the Hurricane Maria ESF-10 Puerto Rico mission, use a crane to transfer a relinquished boat for disposal in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Jan. 4, 2018. The ESF-10 is offering no-cost options for removing vessels stranded or wrecked by Hurricane Maria; affected boat owners are asked to call the Vessel Owner Outreach Hotline at (786) 521-3900. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lara Davis)

Salvage crews use a crane to transfer a relinquished boat for disposal in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Jan. 4, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lara Davis)

SAN JUAN – The Emergency Support Function 10 (ESF-10) Puerto Rico unified command continues to encourage vessel owners in need of assistance to call the Hurricane Maria Vessel Hotline at (786) 521-3900 to request free support to remove a vessel, report a vessel removal plan, or report a vessel that has already been removed.

Hurricane Maria ESF-10 Puerto Rico response teams assessed damage and work to remove storm-impacted vessels today in La Parguera, Piñones, and Sardinera, while continuing outreach efforts to locate vessel owners in Cabo Rojo and La Isleta. Since the last update, salvage crews have removed seven more vessels from Puerto Chico.

Response teams have identified 375 impacted vessels to date, with 188 of those cases now closed. Teams have made contact with 217 vessel owners, and responded to 35 pollution reports. Pollution prevention specialists have dewatered 7,850 gallons of oily water mixture and collected 4 cubic yards of oily debris from vessels, reducing the impact on Puerto Rico’s natural resources.

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

The DNER and the Coast Guard in conjunction with the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Control Board, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 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.

For photos and video of the Hurricane Maria response, please visit our Hurricane Maria Flickr page.

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