Boat that ran aground remains at Agat Marina - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Boat that ran aground remains at Agat Marina

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How bad is the damage to the reef after a boat crashed off the Agat Marina? We brought you the story last week after a boat ran aground with four passengers on board plus the incredible footage by Dr. Michael Orr, an eyewitness who came to their rescue.  It happened one week ago, and today the boat continues to sit out on the waters, causing some concern.

It was a happy ending for the rescued passengers on board. But the boat that tipped on its side at the Agat Marina last Monday still currently sits out on the waters, which is concerning for residents and harmful to the environment. However, it hasn't been forgotten by responding agencies like the Coast Guard.

Lieutenant Larla Brown is the Instant Management Division Chief for the Coast Guard Sector Guam, a told KUAM News, "Most important thing is that obviously we get any threats of pollution off of the vessel and that was done really quickly as well, within twenty-four hours. The vessel owner took responsibility and made sure that any potential threats to the environment such as oil, fuels, marine batteries, anything that could make even more damage than originally was there was removed from the vessel."

And once that's done, the next step is salvage, which is a joint agency effort. "That's a joint effort and it can be very complex, differs from case to case. For this particular case, I can tell you that the Coast Guard, as an organization, generally will monitor and ensure that vessels are being safely removed and salvaged," Brown.

One of the agencies involved includes the Guam Bureau of Statistics and Planning. KUAM spoke to Coral Reef Resilience Coordinator, Whitney Hoot who gave us some of the facts. First of all, there is no legislation to demand that a person to remove a vessel or enforce any penalties or fines for coral reef damage. Secondly, GovGuam does not possess any fund to salvage vessels on their own.

It is solely at the discretion of the boat owner to remove it and to do it safely.

Said Brown, "Anytime that you take a vessel off a reef or any sensitive environment, you want to make sure that there's not going to spill or anything, which is why we removed the threats of pollution first and then considering things like how you take it off the reef."

The main concern of all the agencies involved is removing the boat and Hoot is trying to work with the owner to inform him of potential coral damage.

With 2018 being recently declared as the Guam Year of the Reef, officials are hopeful this issue is addressed soon.

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