A sunken boat was recovered Friday afternoon from the Agat Marina where it began taking on water one week ago. PNC visited the marina earlier today and stopped by the Port to speak with general manager Rory Respicio about the incident.
The boat’s owner, Joe Tyquiengco, watched as the US Coast Guard, and Unitek worked to raise his boat from underneath the water. According to Port Authority of Guam general manager Rory Respicio, the vessel began sinking a week ago as a result of the heavy weather.
“But immediately, the port was there with the safety division. They put down the barrier to absorb any of the fluids and I think they made that change a couple of times to contain the contaminates. At this juncture, we’ve been dealing with Mr. Tyquiengco, he’s been extremely cooperative, understanding the situation that he’s faced with. The boat, we believe, sank because of heavy weather and the pump on the boat that was supposed to drain the water was malfunctioning,” Respicio said.
This caused the boat to slowly sink into the 15-foot deep water. Respicio says the Coast Guard stepped in to recover the small vessel, taking custody over the boat with the support and approval of the boat owner.
“There will still be some liability on the boat owner and once the boat is lifted, the fuel will be drained. And once the boat’s lifted, it still should be able to float and it will be more manageable for Mr. Tyquiengco to have it put on a trailer and take it to his house,” Respicio said.
Respicio says the boat could not be removed from the water when it first began to sink because it would have cost money and that’s ultimately the responsibility of the boat owner.
“So in this process, we reached out to EPA to see if they can at least issue a notice of violation before the Port stepped in and used Port money for immediate remediation like lifting up the vessel. And then, we also reached out to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard has a program and regulatory process that they follow which requires working closely with the boat owner. The boat owner has to admit and concede to some responsibility, total responsibility in the end,” Respicio said.
The Port is currently assessing any damage that the boat may have cause to the Agat marina. The Coast Guard is taking the lead in the investigation and is providing the administrative remedies to address the incident.