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NAVSEA Assists with Hurricane Recovery

By NAVSEA Office of Corporate Communications | Oct. 19, 2017

WASHINGTON - NAVSEA assists hurricane-ravaged areas by executing Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SEA 00C ) contracts for diving and salvage teams to help clear harbors of debris and derelict vessels in the Port of Ponce and at Naval Air Station Key West. 

For NAVSEA Contracting Officer Navy Cmdr. Ernie Miranda who is working these efforts, the mission is personal. Miranda was born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

“I have 22 years in the Navy. I never thought I would be supporting disaster relief efforts in my home town.  My father and a lot of my family still live in the area,” said Miranda.

In Florida, Hurricane Irma left approximately 80 private vessels damaged at or near Naval Air Station Key West. 

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast contacted NAVSEA Supervisor of Salvage and Diving to ask if they could assist with the salvage of the vessels washed up on Navy property in Key West.

Lt. Cmdr. Dan Neverosky, with NAVSEA Supervisor of Salvage and Diving, explained how the teams are working to safely remove and return the vessels back to owners. 

“We removed approximately 80 vessels in 12 days, which allowed us to move into phase two to bring all the vessels back to Truman Annex on naval air station property,” Neverosky said. “During this time we have given notification to all the vessels owners to give them an opportunity to retrieve their vessels.” 

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more than 20,000 federal civilian personnel and military service members are on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands engaged in response and recovery operations from Hurricanes Maria and Irma. FEMA, working in coordination with federal partners, has provided millions of meals and millions of liters of potable water to Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Additional meals and water continue to arrive on the islands regularly via air and sea.

“It is a town I grew up in,” Miranda said. “I have family and friends there. To have helped get food and supplies there is very important to me.” 

Thanks in part to these cleanup efforts, FEMA now reports that all of the ports in Puerto Rico are now open to receive cargo.  Repairs to other heavily damaged infrastructure continue.