Coast Guard monitors clean-up operations for sunken tugboat in U.S. Virgin Islands

Coast Guard crews monitor clean-up operations conducted by the National Response Corp. crews Nov. 17, 2020 to recover discharged oil from the partially sunken and abandoned tugboat Cape Lookout at the St. Croix Renaissance, LLP facility within Krause Lagoon in St. Croix. So far, as oil recovery operations continue, more than 1,500 gallons of oily water have been collected. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo)

Coast Guard crews monitor clean-up operations conducted by the National Response Corp. crews Nov. 17, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo)

ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands — Coast Guard pollution teams are monitoring clean-up operations Wednesday to recover discharged oil from the partially sunken and abandoned tugboat Cape Lookout within Krause Lagoon in St. Croix.

“The National Response Corporation in the U.S. Virgin Islands has been hired as the Oil Spill Removal Organization that will be conducting oil recovery and clean-up operations for the Cape Lookout,” said Lt. Cory Woods, Coast Guard Resident Inspection Office St. Croix supervisor. “Our primary objective is to remove this pollution threat and help the affected area and environment return to its pristine state as soon as possible.”

Since oil recovery operations began Tuesday afternoon, clean-up crews from the National Response Corp. have recovered approximately 1,500 gallons of oily water of the material discharged from the vessel.

National Response Corp. crews have also placed new containment and absorbent boom around the vessel to keep the discharged oil contained and facilitate its recovery, and they are using an oil waste vacuum truck and oil skimmers to recover the oil from the water.

The National Response Corp. has also subcontracted Resolve Marine to assess and conduct the recovery of oil, fuel or potential hazardous materials that remain inside the Cape Lookout.

At this time, there are no reports of affected marine or wildlife, Coast Guard on-scene personnel continue to monitor.

Following a Nov. 12 report from owner/operator of St. Croix Renaissance Group, LLP, Coast Guard personnel from Resident Inspections Office St. Croix, working in coordination with the Coast Guard Sector San Juan Incident Management Division, responded to the scene and confirmed oil coming from the 97-foot tugboat. The Cape Lookout remains tied to a concrete platform at the facility partially sunk with its bow sticking out of the water.

Anyone with relevant information on this case may contact the Sector San Juan Command Center at 787-289-2041.

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