ST. CROIX — U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR), the U.S. Coast Guard and salvage contractors have completed vessel salvage operations on St. Croix, the U.S. Coast Guard said Monday.
In accordance with the Emergency Support Function-10 (ESF-10) for oil and hazardous materials incidents, vessels and pollutants that where identified in assessments after hurricanes Irma and Maria have been removed from public lands and waterways, according to the Coast Guard.
Vessels salvaged and removed of pollution were returned to owners or were placed in a staging area in Christiansted on St. Croix. DPNR is overseeing the further disposition of the vessels.
“As we finished vessel recovery on St. Croix, we have been relocating salvage resources to St. Thomas and St. John to further support the ongoing salvage operations,” said Cmdr. David Reinhard, Coast Guard incident commander, U.S. Virgin Islands ESF-10 vessel salvage operations. “Our mission here is to mitigate the pollution threat posed by these sunken vessels and to protect the public and maritime environment.”
DPNR established the deadline of December 1, 2017 for vessel owners to declare their intent for their property. Owners who did declare intent of self-salvage or have an insurance claim have until January 22, 2018 to remove their vessel and related debris and pollutants.
To date, more than 265 vessels have been salvaged through owner insurance, direct owner salvage or under ESF-10 operations. ESF-10 operations are being conducted to address more than 440 hurricane-displaced, damaged, sunken and aground vessels.
Owners can contact DPNR through the Vessel Owner Notification Hotline at 340-423-6353 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org