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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Removal of diesel fuel from stranded boat ends

A team of federal and local contractors offload machine parts from a zodiac craft in Apra Harbor Feb. 19. Environmental and salvage agencies are working in collaboration to offload hazardous materials from the Daiki Maru 7, a Japanese commercial fishing vessel that ran aground off the shores of Guam on Feb. 13. (MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS TIMOTHY WILSON) APRA HARBOR, Guam—The U.S. Navy, in partnership with other federal and local agencies, has removed diesel fuel to the greatest degree practical from the grounded Japanese commercial fishing vessel Daiki Maru 7 in outer Apra Harbor on Feb. 20.

A team of environmental and salvage specialists pumped approximately 700 gallons of diesel fuel yesterday and 1,500 gallons Wednesday from the vessel and into onshore containers, which were staged in an environmentally safe containment zone for later disposal. Personnel also removed two marine batteries and two propane tanks from the boat on Feb. 19.

“None of us can predict something like this will happen on a Navy base but when it does it’s nice to know we can reach out to federal and local agencies and be up and running so quickly to manage such a complex situation,” said Capt. Mike Ward, U.S. Naval Base Guam commanding officer. “It’s a great testament to the teamwork and spirit that everyone has on the unified command to get this situation remedied as quickly and as safely as possible.”

All recoverable hazardous materials have been removed from the vessel. This allows the team to transition to the salvage phase of the operation. Contract salvage teams are assessing the vessel and formulating plans for breaking down and removing the vessel from its current location.

The Navy and all partners in the unified command are taking all the necessary steps to address the situation and ensure the protection of the environment. The unified command maintains a top priority of assessing, planning for, and removing hazardous materials from the vessel to mitigate damage to the environment.

The unified command consists of representatives of Naval Base Guam, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam, Guam Environmental Protection Agency and the responsible party. Other agencies that have been involved in all aspects of planning from the standup include Joint Region Marianas operations department, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas environmental personnel, NOAA, Guam Fish and Wildlife Service, Cabras Marine and Osroco. (Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs Office)

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