Coast Guard marine environmental response teams conduct vessel assessments

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Alysha Nagel, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Garrett Ragland conduct post Hurricane Sally assessments to determine environmental threats posed by vessels, in Perdido Bay in Lillian, Alabama, Oct. 3, 2020. Marine Environmental Response teams validated vessel statuses from initial data collected immediately following the hurricane. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Melissa Leake.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Alysha Nagel, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Garrett Ragland conduct post Hurricane Sally assessments to determine environmental threats posed by vessels, in Perdido Bay in Lillian, Alabama, Oct. 3, 2020. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Melissa Leake.

NEW ORLEANS – Coast Guard marine environmental response teams conducted vessel assessment operations throughout Hurricane Sally affected areas of Alabama and Florida, Saturday.

Multiple teams, working together with Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Marine Patrol Division and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, validated vessel statuses from data collected immediately following the hurricane. This data helps the Coast Guard identify if vessels are a pollution threat and to prioritize the removal of oil or hazardous substances from vessels, minimizing the environmental threat of pollution.

“Every vessel assessed will help us determine if it requires immediate action by the Coast Guard and we will continue to work with our state and local partners to address environmental impacts,” said Chief Petty Officer Jeremy Thomas, the federal on-scene coordinator representative for the Sector Mobile Hurricane Sally marine environmental response. “So far, the data collected from these assessments indicates vessel owners are taking responsible actions to recover their vessel or remove pollution threats.”

The removal process is both time-consuming and intensive, requiring safety measures, the creation and implementation of planning procedures, and the mitigation of pollution and other hazards.

Vessel owners are encouraged to hire a salvage company to recover their vessels in order to provide the safest removal method possible for the public and environment.

To report pollution, please contact the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.

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