Best practices for removal of vessels post hurricanes
The Emergency Support Function 10 (ESF 10) Florida, consisting of multiple state and federal agencies, is continuing efforts to assess and remove hazards in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission members are conducting assessments of damaged and sunken vessels in the areas most affected by Hurricane Irma. These assessments assist in providing an overarching image to the unified command of the effects of the storm, allowing for the effective placement of assets, expediting the response process.
Vessel owners are encouraged to hire a salvage company to recover their vessel in order to provide the safest method possible for the vessel and the environment. A sunken or displaced vessel is a hazard to the environment. The removal of displaced vessel can hasten the recovery and overall resilience of native marine plants and animals.
Information for Boat Owners removing their boats
Vessel owners are encouraged to hire a professional salvage company to recover their vessel in order to provide the safest method possible for your vessel and the environment.
Open Water and Nearshore Operations
If Vessel Owner is removing their vessel:
Notify Hurricane Irma Vessel Hotline of plans for vessel removal by calling (305)-985-3744.
Vessel Removal information:
KEY WEST additional REQUIREMENT
Any salvage operations conducted within or requiring transit through the Key West Main Ship Channel, Cut A, Cut B, Key West Bight Channel, the Key West Harbor including the Upper and Lower Turning Basins, and Fleming Cut including vessels in the vicinity of NAS Trumbo Point SHALL submit a salvage/transit plan to the COTP for approval prior to operations.
Please submit the salvage/transit plan for approval to Sector Key West at SKWWaterways@uscg.mil.
Further details of USCG Key West Key West Salvage Plan and Restrictions – MSIB 025-17
The FWC/Coast Guard assumes no responsibility for the safety of the salvage operations. This responsibility rests solely with the vessel owners/operators.
If boat owner takes no action and your vessel remains a threat to the environment, any oil and hazardous substances will be removed from the vessel and then the vessel will be relocated to a FWC staging area. At this point you can collect your vessel or it may be disposed of after 30 days after owner has been notified.
Anyone witnessing an oil spill, chemical release or maritime security incident should call the National Response Center hotline at 1-800-424-8802.
Report violations or injured wildlife: 1-800-404-3922
Oil, Fuel or Hazardous Material Spills in Florida Waters: Call 800-320-0519.
To report wildlife law violations anywhere in the state, 24 hours a day, call the toll-free Wildlife Alert hotline: 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922).
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