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Update 7 Multimedia Release: Unified Command prioritizes crew safety in the face of inclement weather


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

  

BALTIMORE – The Unified Command continues to coordinate response operations Wednesday to the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, despite the challenging weather conditions which today included severe thunderstorms and high winds. 


Trained crews, in conjunction with the Unified Command, are taking steps forward with operations and are conducting routine salvage assessments, while evaluating the safest and most effective routes. Divers are on scene to conduct underwater surveys along with mapping out plans for future wreckage removal.  


“Our operations continue but will be adjusted as necessary in response to any adverse weather conditions,” said U.S. Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Frank Schiano, Salvage Branch Director of the Key Bridge Response 2024, “The Unified Command remains committed to re-opening the port while ensuring safety and environmental protection.” 


The Key Bridge Response 2024 Unified Command continues to coordinate response operations despite the challenging weather conditions in Baltimore, Maryland, April 3, 2024. The Key Bridge Response Unified Command priorities are ensuring the safety of the public and first responders, accountability of missing persons, safely restoring transportation infrastructure and commerce, protecting the environment, and supporting the investigation. (Key Bridge Response 2024 Unified Command U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Alejandro Rivera)


The Maryland Department of the Environment received the results of water sampling taken the day of the incident upriver and downstream of the site. The samples were analyzed for substances associated with fuel constituents, including volatile organic compounds. There was no detection of any of these contaminants. The results will be used as a baseline for comparison with water quality monitoring done throughout response, recovery and reconstruction. Sampling will continue indefinitely every few days, as needed.


The current 2,000-yard safety zone around the Francis Scott Key Bridge remains in effect and is intended to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment. Members of the public may not enter the safety zone unless authorized by the COTP or designated representative. Those in the safety zone must comply with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the COTP or designated representative.


The COTP issued a Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM) via VHF-FM marine channel 16. Mariners are requested to monitor channel 16 for the latest information.


A Debris Reporting Hotline has been established. If the public encounters any debris from the incident, please contact +1 (410) 205-6625


The Key Bridge Response 2024 Unified Command includes the:

U.S. Coast Guard 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Maryland Department of the Environment 

Maryland Transportation Authority

Maryland State Police

Witt O’Brien’s representing Synergy Marine


A website with incident response information can be found at the following URL: 


For updated information on the status of the maritime transportation system visit the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Maryland - National Capital Region Homeport page: https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/maryland-ncr


The media is requested to call the Joint Information Center at +1 (410) 631-8939 for interview response inquiries and interviews.


Resources are available for businesses and individuals impacted by the Port closure: Benefit Line for Port of Baltimore Workers: +1 (667) 930-5989


Disaster Loan Assistance: https://lending.sba.gov  


The Unified Command’s operational priorities are ensuring the safety of the public and first responders, accountability of missing persons, safely restoring transportation infrastructure and commerce, protecting the environment, and supporting the investigation.


The Key Bridge Response 2024 Unified Command continues to coordinate response operations despite the challenging weather conditions in Baltimore, Maryland, April 3, 2024. The Key Bridge Response Unified Command priorities are ensuring the safety of the public and first responders, accountability of missing persons, safely restoring transportation infrastructure and commerce, protecting the environment, and supporting the investigation. (Key Bridge Response 2024 Unified Command U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Alejandro Rivera)

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