Response crews scheduled to continue work on grounded freighter Monday

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Response crews are scheduled to continue removal operations for the 202-foot grounded freighter Jireh Monday.

Removal operations were suspended Tuesday due to Tropical Storm Isaac.

Response crews are moving the barges, vessels and equipment to Mona Island Sunday.

Response crews began removing sections of the ship August 18, 2012 to reduce the weight, protect the hull and increase buoyancy before refloating and sinking the vessel. The sections being removed from the Jireh are being placed on a barge and taken to a recycling center for proper disposal.

The removal operation has been hampered by several storms that required response crews to return to the main island of Puerto Rico.

The Jireh ran aground on Mona Island June 21, 2012 with 84 passengers and crew. Investigators have not been able to find the owners of the Honduran-flagged Jireh or what caused the crew to run the vessel aground.

More than 5,000 gallons of oil/water mix and 600 tons of oiled cargo have been removed from the grounded freighter.

A Unified Command made up of the Coast Guard, the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board and other federal, state and local response personnel are working together to safely remove the freighter Jireh from Mona Island.

All operations involving the Jireh are funded through the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Contributions to the OSLTF are made through a per barrel tax paid by oil companies as well as fines levied against companies who violate the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and other related laws.

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