Attempts to free grounded fuel barge near Hood River, Oregon fail

PORTLAND, Ore. — Attempts to free the grounded barge New Dawn with an additional tugboat near Hood River, Ore., were unsuccessful Thursday.

Working closely with Tidewater Tug and Barge, the owners and operators of the New Dawn, the Coast Guard approved a salvage plan to free the barge from the sandbar. The plan calls for an empty fuel barge to be brought alongside in order to transfer gasoline off the grounded vessel. This process, known as lightering, will decrease the draft of the New Dawn so that it may be freed from the river bottom.

The lightering operations will commence at first light on Friday morning.

Tidewater and Coast Guard personnel inspected the double hull of the barge and found no damage resulting from this incident. There has been no release of any cargo into the Columbia River and no impact to the environment. The cause of the grounding is still under investigation by the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard continues to work with state and local agencies, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, Oregon State Department of Environmental Quality and Washington State Department of Ecology to ensure a safe conclusion to the incident.

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