Strong winds brought by a tropical storm that passed the northern part of the CNMI caused three fishing vessels to break free from their moorings at the Tinian Harbor and run aground on the reef at Kammer Beach early Friday morning.
No one was in the boats when the incident happened, Saipan Tribune learned.
Saipan Tribune learned that the Department of Public Safety and Commonwealth Ports Authority safely secured the first vessel, CM2090CF, on Friday at 6:29am, and secured the second vessel, Sonic Queen, at 2:30pm on the same day.
The third vessel, Il Sin Ho, was not secured and remains high and dry on the reef, according to the Tinian mayor’s information officer, Cassandra Cabrera.
Cabrera said a certain Mr. Xiong, the owner of Sin Ho and Triple Star Company, was given until today, Monday, to contain the contaminated water in the boat and any petroleum products.
Cabrera said that Il Sin Ho will most likely just sit on the reef and sink.
The three boats reportedly broke from their moorings when the wind shifted to the southeast as a result of the storm passing north of the CNMI. The boats then drifted out of the harbor and came up against the reef at Kammer Beach.
Ray Pangelinan of Tinian DPS responded and immediately notified the mayor, Commonwealth Ports Authority, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the cause of the incident is under investigation.
The USCG said there have been no reports of pollution or obstruction to the waterway.
Il Sin Ho has about two feet of water in the engine room and an estimated 50 gallons of petroleum products aboard. Responders were last reported working to acquire pumps and absorbent pads.
Sonic Queen has no reported damage or fuel aboard.
A unified command was established to include the owners of the boat, DPS Tinian, CPA, Division of Environmental Quality, and U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam.
A witness said the responders put up a command post at the incinerator building of the dock, assessed the situation, and managed to secure two of the three boats.
Cabrera said as of Saturday at 2:30pm, the USCG called off the mission to pull Il Sin Ho.
Cabrera said all government agencies are taking measures for the aftereffect or damage to the coral reef if in case Il Sin Ho will be pulled off the reef.