Authorities with the U.S. Coast Guard continue to investigate what caused the grounding of a Mexican shrimper on South Padre Island last week.
According to the Coast Guard, the vessel was attempting to seek refuge from Tropical Storm Dolly, which made landfall in Mexico south pf Brownsville on the evening of Tuesday, September 2. It was at approximately 9 p.m. that evening, the Coast Guard confirmed, when the shrimper ran aground.
It wasn’t until Sunday, September 7 that the Coast Guard successfully salvaged the shrimper, a 67-foot vessel named the Jackie C. which was reportedly one of nearly 70 Mexican vessels seeking safe harbor in the Port of Brownsville from Tropical Storm Dolly.
The Coast Guard further confirmed that Marine Safety Detachment Brownsville and the Incident Management Division from the Corpus Christi sector worked together with the owner of the Jackie C. in an effort to develop a salvage plan. The Jackie C, crew had already received immediate assistance by that point from the Coast Guard upon their grounding in the form of a radio that was delivered to the crew via helicopter.
“The Coast Guard has been in constant communication with the vessel’s crew and has monitored their safety,” a Coast Guard statement read prior to Jackie C.’s salvaging on Sunday. “The four-person crew of the shrimper remained aboard the vessel throughout the grounding and requested no further assistance from the Coast Guard or state and local officials.”
What’s more, the Coast Guard noted that – “as with all cases of ships running aground” – oil pollution from the Jackie C.’s onboard fuel and oil tanks was possible.
Still, it was stressed in the statement that Coast Guard and Texas General Land Office officials “have been monitoring the shrimper for oil discharge and so far, have seen no pollution.”
In the statement, Lt. John Robertson, the supervisor of Marine Safety Detachment Brownsville, stated, “Our primary concern is the safety of the people involved in the operation and to protect the local environment from any oil or fuel discharge that may occur.”