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Press Release | Oct. 10, 2023

Coast Guard urges boaters to adhere to safety zone established for Bonnie G response in St. Thomas

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — The Coast Guard is urging boaters to adhere to the safety zone established for the Bonnie G response, Tuesday, in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.  

“It is of the utmost importance for boaters and vessel traffic to adhere to the safety zone that was established by the Coast Guard, Friday, for the duration of this response,” said Lt. Cmdr. Brian Dochterman, Deputy Incident Commander for the Bonnie G response. “This is an active and complex working site and things could potentially become more complicated. We need commercial and recreational boaters to remain clear of this area for their safety and the safety of response crews working the site.”  

Boaters found to be in violation of an established Coast Guard safety zone may be exposed to potential fines, ranging from $5,000 for a first-time offense and up to $111,031 in accordance with 46 U.S.C. 70036 (a). 

The Bonnie G continues to remain stable and there are no reports of oil discharge or visible oil sheen observed in the water by on-scene Coast Guard pollution responders. Response crews will continue to perform assessments to be prepared in the event of structural integrity concerns, while Don Jon Marine, National Response Corporation, and Playland Marine LLC oil spill removal organization (OSRO) crews develop fuel removal and salvage plans for the response.  

Protective measures currently in place include containment boom around the vessel and an active safety zone with a quarter mile radius around the Bonnie G.  

During the weekend and Monday’s response efforts, Don Jon Marine and Playland Marine LLC OSRO crews made substantial progress in the removal of oil from the vessel, which further reduce potential impacts to the environment. Additionally, Don Jon and the OSRO are diligently working to continue pollution removal to minimize the threat to the environment prior to any salvage operations. 

Coast Guard crews continue to work closely with the responsible party, including the salvor and the OSRO, as well as the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, local government officials, and other stakeholders or trustees supporting the response.  

The Bonnie G is reported to have approximately 13,000 gallons of fuel and approximately 700 gallons of lube oil onboard. Additionally, the vessel was carrying six cars, a bucket truck, a semi-truck rig, a trailer and container, two forklifts, a general-purpose lift as well as two pallets of cargo.  

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