As of Monday, the Coast Guard has evacuated 662 Americans from Haiti.
By Susan Schept – NavyTimes
Although doing medevacs and ferrying Americans out of the danger zone is a top priority, the Coast Guard has another important task — restoring the ports of Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien. The ports are littered with submerged cranes and shipping containers, preventing ships loaded with medical supplies, food and personnel from being unloaded.
“Everyone realizes that it is of critical importance to get relief back in,” said Cmdr. Mike Glander, the commanding officer of the buoy tender Oak, which arrived Sunday evening in Port-au-Prince.
On Monday, the Oak used one of the few small usable piers to unload 62,880 bottles of water and medical supplies, such as IVs, splints and medicine. The Oak will assist a Catholic Relief Services barge Tuesday to unload supplies at the same fragile pier.
“We will be working very slowly and carefully, one container at a time,” Glander said. “It’s going to be a very slow operation.”
In addition to the Oak, the Coast Guard has deployed four cutters and a number of helicopters and planes to respond since the quake hit Jan. 12. The medium-endurance cutters Tahoma and Mohawk, along with the Haitian coast guard, were able to escort the 270-foot barge Crimson Clover to port Sunday to deliver food supplies. Tahoma conducted soundings of the sea bottom along the south pier in Port-au-Prince harbor to prepare for the delivery to Catholic Relief Services.
An 11-person specialized seaport operations team aboard the Oak is concentrating on assessing the damage to the port.
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The Journal of Commerce Online reports:
Crimson Shipping barge is first commercial vessel to arrive since quake
The 278-foot house barge Crimson Clover arrived Sunday night at Port-au-Prince, the first commercial vessel to reach the port since the Jan. 12 earthquake.
The barge is just the beginning of the second wave of Haiti relief, delivering shipload quantities of food aid to augment the 24-hour airlift government and nongovernment agencies have relied on for the past week.
John Trestrail, agent for Crimson Shipping of Mobile, Ala., said the company’s Crimson Clover was expected to start today to discharge more than 100 20-foot containers at Port-au-Prince. »