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HomeNewsLocal newsDivers Pull 2,500 Pounds Of Bonnie G Debris From Seafloor

Divers Pull 2,500 Pounds Of Bonnie G Debris From Seafloor

Salvage crews brought 2,500 pounds of debris from the wrecked Bonnie G to the surface recently, including the ship’s anchor. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)

Divers surfaced some 2,500 pounds of debris from the seafloor during salvage operations where the 195-foot Bonnie G lays grounded just south of Cyril E. King Airport, officials said Tuesday.

Crews had removed roughly 2,100 gallons of petroleum since the cargo ship ran aground early Oct. 4 as the remnants of Tropical Storm Philippe passed over St. Thomas, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. No oil or other petroleum pollutants had leaked from the Vanuatu-flagged, Florida-owned vessel but more work was needed.

The 200-foot offshore supply ship Harvey Challenger left Louisiana early Monday, bound for the Bonnie G wreckage, where it will remove fuel. Coast Guard officials estimated the Harvey Challenger to arrive Oct. 22 but other reports have the offshore supply ship arriving Oct. 24.

Potential pollutants like batteries from the six cars, truck, trailer and two pallets of other cargo on the Bonnie G had been secured, officials said.

Coast Guard photos show the Bonnie G lodged in a rock and coral mound. An assessment over the weekend asserted salvage vessel activity nearby did not pose a threat to the coral present; however, salvage crews prepared for possible rough weather should another storm pass nearby.

The 195-foot Bonnie G has been aground south of the St. Thomas airport since Oct. 4. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)

Among the items pulled from the seafloor was a Bonnie G anchor lost in the storm. Investigators had not yet released the likely cause of the wreck but it was possible the ship had not been able to dock during the storm and attempted to anchor.

The Bonnie G left Christiansted at 6:41 p.m. Oct. 3 in stormy seas, bound for St. Thomas, according to the website vesselfinder.com. But the route became erratic as it approached St. Thomas Harbor from the east, according to information from the website marinetraffic.com.

The Bonnie G passed between Hassel Island and Water Island shortly after 3 a.m., passed Crown Bay, and back out to sea west of Honeymoon Beach. It abruptly turned around roughly 2,000 feet southwest of the airport runway and started back toward Water Island before running aground.

The ship, designed to handle rolling cargo like cars, needs a minimum depth of roughly 10.8 feet to operate safely, according to the Boat Watch app.

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