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 boat (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lara Davis)

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 boat (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 asks that vessel owners in need of assistance 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 conducted boat removal operations today in Piñones and Fajardo and assessed storm-damaged vessels in La Parguera. Since the last update, salvage crews have removed eight more vessels. Outreach efforts to locate vessel owners continue.

Response teams have identified 376 impacted vessels to date, with 202 of those cases now closed. Teams have made contact with 218 vessel owners, and responded to 35 pollution reports. Pollution prevention specialists have dewatered 10,100 gallons of oily water mixture, 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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