Transfer of Fuel Off of Big Blue Begins


Guam – The process of off-loading diesel and waste oil from the partially sunken Guam Shipyard dry dock has begun.

In a news release Thursday the Coast Guard said that fuel transfer lines had been tested, the transfer line reviewed and the process has begun.

The fuel from the mostly submerged dry dock was being transferred at the rate of 480 gallons per hour from the dry dock’s largest fuel tank to the nearby tug boat “Marianas Voyager.”

But for safety reasons, the pumping stopped at sunset Thursday and will resume at daybreak Friday morning.

Once that tank has been emptied, the dry dock should rise in the water high enough to allow workers to access the remaining fuel tanks.

To help with the recovery effort, the Coast Guard has brought in a number of specialists:

* 1 member from the District 14 Honolulu District Response Advisory Team (DRAT)

* 3 members of the Pacific Strike Team

* A Deployable Operations Group (DOG)

The DOG Team will assist Guam Shipyard with establishing recovery goals and bringing forward the necessary expertise to ensure “Big Blue” is safely raised out of the water once all fuel and oil are removed.

According to the release, after surveying the drydock, Pacific Strike Team member Chief Boatswain’s Mate Benjamin Gamad said, “All agencies are working well together to reach a solution and mitigate any potential environmental impacts.”

U. S. Coast Guard Sector Guam urges 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.