Story Number: NNS140215-04Release Date: 2/15/2014 11:49:00 AM
By Lt. Matt Knight, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs
APRA HARBOR, Guam (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy, in partnership with other federal and local agencies, completed initial assessments and cleanup of the beach at Spanish steps near the grounded Japanese commercial fishing vessel Daiki Maru in outer Apra Harbor Feb. 15.
Representatives from Guam Fish and Wildlife Services, Sailors from U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam, and natural resources specialists from Naval Facilities Engineering Command conducted an assessment of the beach and determined that there was no evidence of leaking contaminants visible.
Contracted divers boarded the vessel and completed an assessment. While inspecting the vessel they ensured that all oil vents found were securely closed and a baseline for future oil removal was established.
Throughout the day, cleanup crews on the beach and on personal watercraft in the harbor collected debris and transported them to a safe location on shore to prevent environmental damage.
"The unified command made a lot of progress today and the on-site team made some significant first steps in mitigating the potential damage this vessel could do to the environment" said Dennis Siler, Naval Base Guam Operations Manager. "Our objective as we enter the third day is to complete the safe transfer of heavy oils off the vessel which represent the greatest danger to the environment."
The unified command consists of representatives from 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, Naval Facilities Command Environmental personnel, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Guam Fish and Wildlife Service, Cabras Marine and Osroco.
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's top priority is to assess, plan, and remove hazardous materials from the vessel to mitigate damage to the environment.
For more news from U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas, visit www.navy.mil/local/guam/.