June 14, 2021

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Coast Guard works to remove spilled fuel in the south of the Island

San Juan. The Coast Guard continues to work on the removal of 4,163 liters of fuel that began spilling in southeastern Puerto Rico after a tugboat sank.

The events, revealed this Wednesday said rescue corps, took place last Thursday.

The Coast Guard guards in the San Juan sector received an emergency call from the crew of the tugboat “Proassist III” informing that the vessel was flooding.

The 112 foot (about 34.14 meters) tug was carrying three people on board, and was two miles (about 3.22 kilometers) south of the port of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico.

Another ship passing through the area embarked the three people from the “Proassist III” and brought them ashore.

No injuries were reported, the Coast Guard reported.

The tugboat has approximately 1,100 gallons of diesel fuel on board, the salvage force said.

The crew of an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from the Borinquen Air Station of the Coast Guard, flew over the area on Friday and observed a glow in the water that extended from approximately 0.25 miles (0.4 kilometers) east of Yabucoa, up to 1.5 miles (about 2.41 kilometers) southwest of it, with a width of 1.5 miles.

The San Juan Sector Incident Management Division (IMD) staff continues to work with the vessel owner to develop a salvage plan and removal of all diesel fuel from the tugboat.

“We encourage boat owners in similar circumstances to hire a salvage company to recover their boats, using methods safe for the public and the environment,” the Coast Guard concluded in the statement.

Also in mid-November, the US Coast Guard’s environmental pollution teams cleaned up an oil spill that unloaded an abandoned and sunken tugboat in the Krause Lagoon, in Santa Cruz, in the US Virgin Islands, the federal agency reported.

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