The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands) — Coast Guard crews are responding Tuesday to the grounding of the 223-foot Togo-flagged cargo vessel Ocean Spirit I just off the entrance of the Charlotte Amalie Harbor East Gregory Channel.
Coast Guard marine casualty investigators are on scene investigating the cause of the grounding. There are no signs of distress or oil leaking from the vessel and the East Gregory Channel entrance remains open to maritime traffic.
The crew of Ocean Spirit I completed the sounding of the vessel’s fuel and ballast tanks while Sea Tow-St. Thomas crews conducted an underwater damage assessment of the vessel’s hull.
Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment personnel are working with the master and owner of Ocean Spirit I and the vessel's salvage company to minimize any potential environmental impact or damage to the vessel's hull during refloating and removal operations.
Coast Guard watch standers in Sector San Juan were initially contacted by St. Thomas Harbor pilots at approximately 5 a.m. Tuesday, who reported the incident.