Guam – The U.S. Coast Guard reports that Guam Shipyard workers this weekend continued to pump out water from the partially sunk dry dock known as “Big Blue.” The aim is to raise the level of the dry dock up high enough in order to reach the waste oil storage tanks so they can be pumped dry.
The Coast Guard says that so called “de-watering” efforts continue around the clock within the drydock’s starboard side machinery space.
“Every precaution is being taken to remove the oily water mixture currently within the machinery space,” states a Coast Guard release. ” So far approximately 41,000 gallons of sea water mixed with oily residue from the machinery space has been transferred off “Big Blue” to isolation tanks.”
The machinery space aboard Big Blue contains the lube oil tank and sludge oil tank. The USCG release states that those tanks “will be emptied once Guam Shipyard is able to pump out enough water to safely reach the tanks and connect transfer lines.”
The 11,000 gallon diesel fuel tank was successfully pumped dry Friday, without any leakage into Apra Habor.
Officials have been concerned since a week ago Sunday night when the dry dock sunk after hatches were left open during high surf that the oil aboard might leak and cause environmental damage within the harbor.
Read the Coast Guard Rlease Below:
Guam Shipyard: pumping will continue throughout the weekend
APRA HARBOR, Guam – Guam Shipyard has begun pumping around the clock. “Big Blue’s” diesel tank, the largest known fuel source onboard the drydock at this time, has now been confirmed empty. The tank held approximately 11,000 gallons of fuel and was successfully emptied Friday afternoon onto the tug Marianas Voyager.
Dewatering efforts continue in drydock’s starboard side machinery space. This machinery space contains a lube oil tank and sludge oil tank that will need to be emptied before Guam Shipyard can raise “Big Blue” out of the water. These tanks will be emptied once Guam Shipyard is able to pump out enough water to safely reach the tanks and connect transfer lines.
Every precaution is being taken to remove the oily water mixture currently within the machinery space. So far approximately 41,000 gallons of sea water mixed with oily residue from the machinery space has been transferred off “Big Blue” to isolation tanks.
Coast Guard Sector Guam and the Pacific Strike Team continue to monitor the dewatering and recovery efforts at Guam Shipyard this weekend. A naval architect from Hawaii that was requested by Guam Shipyard is also on scene now to assist with future dewatering plans and the safe raising of the drydock once the response shifts from pollution mitigation to salvage.
U. S. Coast Guard Sector Guam continues to urge all commercial and recreational boating traffic to remain vigilant while transiting near “Big Blue”. To report any debris or signs of oil in the water call the Sector Guam Command Center at 671-564-USCG.