The refloating operation of MV Commander in the U.S. Virgin Islands was successful. The 221-foot vessel was anchored in the vicinity of Protestant Cay Feb. 1. The ship grounded outside Christiansted Harbor Jan. 31, 2014. The cause of the incident is still not clear and the grounding is under investigation. The first impression and underwater assessment has revealed 2 missing rudders. MV Commander was reported with minor scrapping and no significant damage to the ship's hull. It is important that and oil spill was not detected. It was announced that the vessel is not a threat to the environment.
Coast Guard marine casualty investigators are not finished with their investigation about the incident. MV Commander had a lot of luck to be promptly refloated after this grounding. The good joint work between all agencies prevented an environmental disaster in Christiansted Harbor. Coast Guard Resident Inspection Office and Boat Forces St. Croix personnel were spotted at the location where MV Commander grounded. The master and owner of the ship gave instructions for the salvage plan in order environmental damage to be avoided during the refloating operation. The salvage operation team waited for good weather conditions and high tide to refloat MV Commander. The ship was able to free itself and headed to the vicinity of Protestant Cay.
Any damages done by the ship to the reef will lead to penalties or fines for the owner. DPNRs' Division of Fish and Wildlife will make an investigation to discover any damage to corals and fisheries habitats.