CATHLAMET, Wash. — The bulk carrier Sparna, which ran aground in the Columbia River Monday near Cathlamet, has sustained significant damage to its hull, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The vessel briefly grounded near the Julie Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge in between Cathlamet and Skamokawa, before laying anchor in 43 feet of water. A damage assessment finished Tuesday morning showed multiple fractures in the hull, most notably a 25-by-5-foot fracture with a boulder lodged inside. Damage was contained within two flooded compartments.
The vessel will be moved to the Port of Longview as conditions permit. Before the grounding, it was outbound and loaded with grain and more than 250,000 gallons of fuel. No pollution has been noted.
“The cooperation between federal and state representatives continues to ensure the safety of the environment and the safety of the crew aboard the motor vessel Sparna,” said Capt. Dan Travers, commander of Sector Columbia River, in a release. “Although there has been no pollution aspect to this point, we have prepared and have people in place to respond to the worst-case scenario.”
The Maritime Fire & Safety Association and Clean Rivers Cooperative deployed response vessels, booms and personnel after the grounding. The tugs PJ Brix and Pacific Escort are on scene to keep the Sparna stabilized. The Coast Guard has not closed the river channel.