ASTORIA, Ore. – The Coast Guard and Washington State Dept. of Ecology are investigating a sheen at the site of the derelict 431-foot barge, Davy Crockett, on the Columbia River near Camas, Wash., after more oil was discovered leaking from the vessel into the river Thursday.
Responders first went to the scene over the weekend when an oil sheen was reported around the Davy Crockett, after it broke free from its moorings and ran aground on the river’s northern bank.
Ecology received reports Thursday of a light, non-recoverable sheen extending into the Port of Vancouver, Wash., area, and responders traced it back approximately 8.5 miles to the site of the Davy Crockett.
Contractors, already hired by the vessel’s owners, are working with Coast Guard and Ecology responders to determine the source of the sheen. More boom has been placed around the ship; absorbent material is being used to soak up some of the oil.
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Divers from Ballard Diving and Salvage Co. are trying to determine the exact source of the oil. Responders don’t know how much oil remains aboard the vessel.
The vessel is located outside of the shipping channel and does not pose a hazard to navigation.
The Coast Guard and 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.
Federal, state and local agencies, as well as industry, continue to work closely together to recover oil and monitor a 431-foot derelict vessel, Davy Crockett, near Camas, Wash., on the Columbia River, Sunday.
A Unified Command, consisting of Coast Guard, Washington Dept. of Ecology, Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality, Dept. of Interior, Coast Guard Auxiliary and other agencies, was established Thursday after Ecology received reports of a light, non-recoverable sheen. Responders traced it back to mile marker 115 on the Columbia River, the site of the Davy Crockett.
Sunday’s operations included securing two lines to help hold the stern section of the vessel to the bow and the start of ballasting operations in an effort to stabilize the vessel. Diving operations are on-going and dependent on safety and stability. Cleanup and containment efforts continue on and around the barge.
A 500-yard safety no wake zone is still in effect 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.
“As the federal on-scene coordinator, I can attest to the dedication of the multi-agency responders,” said Capt. Douglas E. Kaup, commanding officer of Sector Columbia River. “Our primary goals are to safely remove the oil from this barge and prevent further contamination of the Columbia River.”
The following information is current as of 3 p.m. Sunday:
• 52 members from federal, state and local agencies, as well as industry, are responding
• Approximately 1,200 gallons of oil recovered
• Approximately 18,000 feet of sorbent boom deployed around the vessel
• Approximately 300-feet of sorbent boom deployed inside the vessel
• Approximately 2,800-feet of hard boom deployed around the vessel
• One skimmer
• Seven work and crew vessels
• Two spud barges on-scene to stabilize the stern of the Davy Crocket
• Diving operations are on-going and dependent on the stability of the vessel