Coast Guard responds to sternwheeler grounding

SEATTLE – The Coast Guard responded to the grounding of the sternwheeler Portland 1 1/2 miles east of the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River near Portland, Ore., today.

Coast Guard Sector Portland was notified around 5:30 p.m. that the 186-foot steel vessel lost its propulsion after running aground with 97 people aboard.

A response boat crew from Station Portland, a rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria, Ore., and two Coast Guard Auxiliary boat crews were launched to the scene.

Hood River County and Skamania County Sheriff’s Department, as well as Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission assets also assisted the vessel.

The crew of the tugboat Invader responded to the Coast Guard’s Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and took the vessel into tow.

The Invader crew safely moored the Portland at the Columbia Gorge stern wheeler dock in Cascade Locks, Ore. No injuries have been reported.

Initial reports show no hull or structural damage to the vessel. The rescue helicopter crew arrived on scene and verified no pollution was released.

Sector Portland personnel are en route to the scene to investigate.

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