The Unified Command for the response — officially titled Emergency Support Function 10 (ESF-10) Florida — consists of leaders from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Currently, 2,069 displaced vessels have been removed from Florida waterways. More than 1,500 vessels have been removed from Florida Keys waters. Approximately 160 people from state and federal agencies are involved in the disaster response.
Responders are prioritizing the removal of vessels based on potential environmental impact.
“We are making significant progress along the east coast of Florida and the Keys thanks to our partnerships and the tremendous help of vessel owners taking initiative,” said Jay Marvin, FWC incident commander for ESF-10 Florida. “We couldn’t be as successful as we have been were it not for vessel owners assisting with the removal process, contributing to our efforts. Our success is their success.”
Vessel owners are encouraged to hire a salvage company to recover their vessels in order to provide the safest removal method possible for the public and environment. Owners wishing to remove their own vessels are encouraged to visit the following website for guidelines and best practices http://myfwc.com/boating/
Owners of displaced vessels who lack the resources to have their boat repaired or if their vessel is determined to be beyond repair may release ownership of their vessel through a waiver provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The waiver process can be initiated by contacting FWC through the Vessel Removal Hotline at 305-985-3744 and requesting to turn over a displaced vessel. An FWC representative will then contact the owner to explain the waiver process and facilitate the potential turnover of ownership.