Unified Command works to contain sheen from derelict vessel near Camas, Wash.

ASTORIA, Ore. - The 431-foot barge, Davy Crocket, sits aground on the northern bank of the Columbia River near Camas, Wash., Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. Coast Guard and Washington State Department of Ecology pollution response teams, along with marine inspectors, responded to the scene to check for any possible pollution and determine the overall condition of the vessel. The cause of the grounding is unknown. (Photos by the Washington State Department of Ecology)

The 431-foot barge, Davy Crocket, sits aground on the northern bank of the Columbia River near Camas, Wash., Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. Photo by the Washington State Department of Ecology

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Coast Guard, Washington Dept. of Ecology, Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality, Dept. of Interior, Coast Guard Auxiliary and other agencies continue to cleanup oil and monitor a 431-foot derelict vessel, Davy Crockett, near Camas, Wash., on the Columbia River, Saturday.

A Unified Command has been established at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland to coordinate cleanup and recovery efforts.

Ecology received reports Thursday of a light, non-recoverable sheen extending into the Port of Vancouver, Wash., area, and responders traced it back to mile marker 115 on the Columbia River, the site of the Davy Crockett.

A light sheen is visible on the water’s surface, extending approximately 150-feet from the vessel. Approximately 18,000-feet of sorbent boom and 2,800-feet of hard boom have been deployed to prevent further spread of the oil. Efforts are underway to provide additional support to the vessel’s structural stability. As of noon Saturday, 705 gallons of oil was recovered from cleanup operations.

“Pollution response at this point consists of containment and removal from the water’s surface using absorbent materials and skimmers,” said Mike Greenburg, Oregon State On-Scene Coordinator. “Stability of the vessel is a vital concern and we are working toward establishing it.”

A 500 yard safety no wake zone has been established around the Davy Crockett to ensure the safety of the on-scene workers and to prevent further damage to the vessel. Boaters are asked to use caution when transiting the area.

Personnel from Ballard Diving and Salvage Co. and National Response Corp. Environmental Services are conducting underwater surveys and recovery of oil from the Davy Crockett. The diving operations are on-going and dependent on the stability of the vessel.

The Davy Crockett had been derelict along the northern banks of the river for years and sank in the same spot in the last year and a half. The vessel is located outside of the shipping channel and does not pose a hazard to navigation.

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