ASTORIA, Ore. (KOIN) – Multiple agencies are monitoring a 623-foot merchant ship that has become grounded in the main shipping channel of the Columbia River.
The U.S. Coast Guard says “Sparna” went aground at 12:16 a.m. on Monday in a narrow part of the river near Cathlamet, Wash. It reportedly hit a submerged object.
The vessel took on water in void spaces, but the fuel tanks were not damaged, the Coast Guard said.
“The positive news so far is that responders have not observed any oil in the water,” said Capt. Dan Travers, Coast Guard Captain of the Port for the Columbia River.
The Sparna is fully loaded with grain and was heading west in the Columbia River, towards the ocean, with a river pilot still on-board when it ran into trouble.
The Sparna is weighed down with 218,380 gallons of high sulfur fuel and 39,380 gallons of marine diesel. Two tug boats are on scene to keep the Sparna stabilized, according to the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard, Washington Department of Ecology and Oregon Department of Environmental along with other state and county agencies are on scene monitoring the situation. They say the Coast Guard will need to approve a salvage plan.
The vessel isn’t blocking the navigation channel so it is open to other vessels.
Cathlamet, Wash. is about 1.5 hours from downtown Portland.