After some 16 months after Hurricane Irma, more than 400 unclaimed vessels, or just about, are on the verge of being written off as ‘derelict’ or ‘abandoned’ vessels in the territory.
The Virgin Islands Shipping Registry (VISR) has therefore issued what it is describing as an “urgent” message to owners of these vessels to make contact with VISR’s Receiver of Wrecks.
VISR has since compiled a number of lists of suspected abandoned or derelict vessels.
The first list comprised approximately 300 vessels while another two comprises 80 and 36 additional vessels, respectively.
If left unclaimed, the recently-implement Disaster Management (Amendment) Act gives government the authority to declare the vessels as derelicts. Once declared, they will then be removed from the territory. The owners or insurers would still be required to pay for the costs incurred for removing and disposing of the said vessels, plus a penalty.
VISR is advising owners in question to review the lists to see whether their vessels have been listed.
See listed vessels below.
The aforesaid Disaster Management Act states that if the owners or insurers do not remove and dispose of the vessel within 60 days from the date of issue of a notice, then the Receiver of Wrecks may take possession of the vessel and remove or sell or dispose of the vessel as is considered necessary.