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ASA Members Respond to Hurricane Katrina

The American Salvage Association (ASA) and many of its members have been actively involved in the emergency response to Hurricane Katrina, supporting the efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy Supervisor of Salvage, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as commercial interests.

The U.S. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans contacted the ASA prior to Katrina's landfall and requested representation at their Incident Command Center in Alexandria, Louisiana to assist with the coordination of response operations. Working in cooperation with the Coast Guard, the ASA established the Waterways Recovery Task Force (WRTF). Fully integrated into the Waterways Section of the ICS Structure at the ICC, the WRTF is staffed by ASA members and is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"Hurricane Katrina has inflicted damage unprecedented in U.S. maritime history. Over a thousand individual commercial wrecks and debris cases have been identified to date, and it is anticipated that this number will increase significantly. Recovery from this magnitude of destruction in the maritime industry is a significant challenge, but ASA's members, working together with government and industry can quickly mitigate identified navigation, pollution, and other debris-related risks," said ASA President Dick Fairbanks. He continued, "Notwithstanding the lack of a proper regulatory framework since the USCG Salvage and Firefighting regulations have still not been promulgated, the American salvage industry, as represented by the ASA, responded quickly and reliably to meet the salvage and harbor clearance needs of our Nation."