On June 21, 2012, the 202-foot M/V Jireh ran aground on Mona Island, a small, uninhabited island 41 miles west of Puerto Rico. NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and U.S. Coast Guard focused on recovering the approximately 2,000 gallons of fuel oil on board the freighter to minimize the environmental impact, particularly to corals.
Because the ship crushed and toppled corals as it plowed into the reef, NOAA divers conducted an assessment survey of the grounding area and continued to work with local environmental agencies as the effort transitioned from response to recovery. As a precautionary measure, NOAA divers transplanted more than 1,000 corals during the salvage operations.
Response efforts lasted several months and concluded on September 18, 2012.