Coast Guard responds to pollution threat from derelict vessel

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River LogoPORTLAND, Ore. – Coast Guard Sector Columbia River and the Washington State Department of Ecology are responding to a potential pollution threat from a derelict 431-foot motor vessel that was reported aground on the northern bank of the Columbia River near Camas, Wash., Thursday.

Both agencies have dispatched pollution response teams along with marine inspectors to check for any possible pollution and determine the overall condition of the vessel. A light and non-recoverable sheen has been observed in the immediate area, which will be cordoned off by boom to prevent any further spread of the oil.

The Coast Guard has opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to take control of all response actions because the vessel’s owner has failed to take appropriate actions in a timely manner to address the potential risk of pollution from the vessel.

Global Diving and Salvage was hired to determine if any possible pollutants were onboard the vessel. After an initial inspection was completed, a minor amount of oil has been found onboard which will be removed from the vessel by Global Diving and Salvage. “

“The Coast Guard takes all pollution cases seriously and responds with due diligence to mitigate any environmental damage to the waterways and surrounding area,” said Lt.Cdr. Kelly Thorkilson, Chief of Sector Columbia River’s Incident Management Division.

The reason for the grounding is still under investigation, but the vessel is located outside of the shipping channel and does not pose a hazard to navigation. The Coast Guard and Washington State Department of Ecology will continue to work closely together on all future pollution incidents in an effort to prevent pollution from impacting the environment to the greatest extent possible.

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