Coast Guard, Unified Command response crews complete grounded freighter 'Jireh' removal from Mona Island, Puerto Rico.
The Jireh ran aground on Mona Island June 21, 2012 with 84 passengers and crew.
The final cut-off-sections of the Jireh’s hull were lifted and transported by barge to the Port of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where all other sections of the freighter’s hull have been staged for further cutting and transfer to recycling companies.
Marine salvage contractors from Resolve Marine Group safely removed approximately 600 tons of the freighter’s hull. They also removed an estimated 20 tons of demolition debris from the ship’s interior that was transported to a landfill waste site in Ponce, Puerto Rico for final disposal. During the initial stages of the response, contractors removed more than 5,000 gallons of oil/water mix and 600 tons of oiled cargo from the grounded freighter.
"This complex and dangerous removal operation is now complete thanks to the close and persistent coordination between all responders from the Unified Command, participating agencies and on-scene response crews,” said Capt. Drew Pearson, Federal On-Scene coordinator for the response. “As a result, the threat to the pristine and fragile Mona Island nature reserve has been removed allowing Natural Resource Trustees to conduct final damage assessments and begin restoration.”
Cutting operations of the ship’s hull will continue in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico for approximately two weeks until all the steel has been transferred to recycling companies for final disposal. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) divers have conducted an assessment survey of the grounding area and continue working with local environmental agencies as the effort transitions from response to recovery.
More than 1,000 corals had been removed as a precautionary measure. NOAA divers, under the supervision of a NOAA authorized biologist, will return these transplanted corals, which are expected to have a high survival rate, to their original place on the reef if conditions allow.