Caribbean Fantasy with tug-boat assist

Caribbean Fantasy Response Downsized

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August 24, 2016

The passenger ferry vessel Caribbean Fantasy is towed to Pier 15 in San Juan Harbor on August 20, 2016. There were 511 passengers and crew evacuated from the vessel on August 17, 2016, following a fire on board. U.S> Coast Guard Photo

U.S. authorities have downsized their response to the Caribbean Fantasy passenger ferry as the operation shifts from emergency response to long term management, the U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday, one week after the ferry caught fire off Puerto Rico.

The Caribbean Fantasy is currently moored at a pier in San Juan Harbor. The fire on board was extinguished last Saturday.

The Coast Guard said Wednesday that response is transitioning to long term project management, a phase will will consist of the continuing joint marine casualty investigation, hazardous and non-hazardous waste disposal, damage and stability assessment, and survey and removal of cargo. All non-essential personnel are being demobilized as the transition occurs.

The Caribbean Fantasy caught fire last Wednesday approximately 2 nautical miles north of San Juan Harbor in Puerto Rico leading to the evacuation of all 511 passengers and crew. The ferry later ran aground just offshore Punta Salinas, where the fire continued to burn inside the ship’s engine room. The ferry floated free Friday (Aug 19) night and was moved to San Juan on Saturday.

Pictured here is containment boom around the Caribbean Fantasy, moored at Pier 15 in San Juan Harbor, Puerto Rico, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. 2,500 feet of boom has been deployed around the vessel as a precautionary measure against potential discharge from the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard Photo
Pictured here is containment boom around the Caribbean Fantasy, moored at Pier 15 in San Juan Harbor, Puerto Rico, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. 2,500 feet of boom has been deployed around the vessel as a precautionary measure against potential discharge from the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

The joint marine casualty investigation includes the Coast Guard, the National Transportation Safety Board, RINA Services and the flag state, Panama.

The responding salvage company is developing a heavy weather mooring plan for the vessel.

Agencies that assisted with the Caribbean Fantasy Response include American Cruise Ferries, Ardent, Baja Ferries, the Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Response Corporation, O’Brien’s Response Management, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency, the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board, the Puerto Rico Fire Department and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are to inspect vehicles and cargo prior to release.

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