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

Members of the Hurricane Maria ESF-10 response team assess storm-stranded vessels in advance of removal operations and conduct outreach to locate vessel owners in Culebra, Puerto Rico, Jan. 31, 2018. The team was comprised of members of the Coast Guard and local salvage crews, working in the ESF-10 effort to remove the boats that were stranded in the hurricane. The ESF-10 is offering no-cost options for removing these vessels; 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)

Members of the Hurricane Maria ESF-10 response team assess storm-stranded vessels in advance of removal operations and conduct outreach to locate vessel owners in Culebra, Puerto Rico, Jan. 31, 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 ask 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 Wednesday at Isleta Marina and Jobos Marina. Since the last update, salvage crews have removed 23 more vessels. Outreach efforts to locate vessel owners continue, including in-person outreach on Culebra and Vieques.

ESF-10 response teams have completed the following in their effort to reduce the potential environmental impact on Puerto Rico’s natural resources:

  • Assessed 377 total sunken or beached vessels
  • Oversaw removal of 260 vessels
  • Contacted 299 vessel owners
  • Mitigated 36 pollution incidents
  • Removed 16,330 gallons of oily water

Members of ESF-10 Puerto Rico continue 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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