Cargo Ship Grounds Off Florida

Monday, March 29, 2004
Coast Guard Marine Safety Office and Group Miami are overseeing response operations to the grounding of the 544-foot cargo ship Eastwind, which was attempting to enter Port Everglades, Fla. early this morning.

Titan Maritime, LLC will focus on refloating the M/V EASTWIND at next high tide, at approximately 12:10 am. Commercial salvage engineers are taking precautions, in the event that fuel tanks are threatened aboard the vessel. These will consist of an internal transfer of heavy oil from a lower tank to the upper wing tanks to reduce the risk of a spill. Currently, no signs of pollution or injuries have been reported.

The Coast Guard continues to monitor and assist, to protect the marine environment and ensure that operations are conducted safely.

Resources involved in this response operation include:

USCG assets:

* Miami Command Center

* Marine Casualty Investigators/Marine Vessel Inspectors

* Marine Environmental Response Officers

* 2 Gulf Coast Strike teams members

* HU-25 Falcon jet Titan Maritime, LLC assets:

* 3 Tugs:

o Tug JUSTINE MCALLISTER On site

o Tug BROWARD On site

o Tug ELSBETH-III enroute/eta: 27Mar04

* 5 man salvage team

* Marine RIB [Rigid Inflatable Boat] w/ First Response Casualty Assessment Package, Communications Package and Damage Stability Software

The Coast Guard was notified by the National Response Center at 2:10 a.m. today that Eastwind reported running aground just north of the port’s entrance.

A Coast Guard marine inspector flew over the ship to inspect the situation before being lowered to the vessel from the Coast Guard helicopter to oversee response operations.

At this time there are no signs of pollution or any injuries to the crew.

The Greek-flagged vessel carrying bauxite, an ore from which aluminum is extracted, also has approximately 241 tons of heavy fuel oil onboard.

Eastwind’s last port of call was New Amsterdam, Guyana.

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