US Senators Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) and John Kennedy (R-LA), and Representatives Steve Scalise (R-LA), Cedric Richmond (R-LA), Garret Graves (R-LA), Ralph Abraham (R-LA), Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Clay Higgins (R-LA) sent a letter to Acting Secretary Duke of the US Department of Homeland Security regarding the emergency response options available to help aid relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
Louisiana has self-sufficient offshore supply vessels, liftboats and multi-purpose support vessels available to deliver supplies and help the people in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean.
Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, also coauthored the letter.
You can read the letter below, or click here.
The Honorable Elaine Duke
US Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
RE: Hurricane Response Assistance by Offshore Supply Vessels
Dear Acting Secretary Duke:
Thank you for your continued efforts to provide the necessary and needed response to the crisis in Puerto Rico. We recognize the challenges ahead for the people of Puerto Rico and the daily need to deliver life sustaining resources such as food and water, emergency response equipment and the necessary assets to restore power throughout the Island.
We understand the unique challenges presented in responding to this crisis, and believe it will require an “all hands on deck” approach that will require the U.S. Coast Guard and FEMA to explore and utilize all available options to deliver needed supplies to these islands in the months to come. Fellow Americans have witnessed and experienced the generosity of others and are prepared to do the same for the people of Puerto Rico. We are fortunate to have many offshore supply vessels, liftboats, and multi-purpose support vessels ready and available to help aid relief efforts. While commonly used to support offshore energy production in the Gulf, these vessels are fully self-sufficient and are more than capable of aiding response efforts in Puerto Rico and if needed, throughout the Caribbean. These ships can also provide meals, sleeping capacity and laundry service for accommodated persons onboard.
Therefore, we strongly encourage the Department to rely upon previous U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) guidance for temporary emergency berthing vessels and prior USCG statements concerning voyages from the US mainland to Puerto Rico. Appropriate coordination among all agencies within the Department is essential during this time.
Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to working with you to provide the necessary relief to Puerto Rico.