Washington State Department of Ecology - August 27, 2013

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Ecology, Coast Guard and contractors responding to sunken vessel at Willow Brook Island near Longview

LONGVIEW – The Washington Department of Ecology, U.S. Coast Guard and contractors Cowlitz Clean Sweep Inc and Ballard Diving & Salvage are responding to a sunken vessel at Willow Grove Island on the Columbia River, about five miles west of Longview.

The boat’s owner reported the incident to Ecology about 7 a.m. today. The sunken vessel, the Granby, was built in 1929. The wood-hulled trawler is no longer used for commercial purposes. The Granby potentially could have 600 gallons of oil on board, including diesel fuel.

State and federal authorities have formed a unified command, and responders and investigators are at the site working on cleanup. The boat owner hired the response contractors and is cooperating with Ecology and the Coast Guard.

Response crews have placed oil-containment boom and oil-absorbing pads around the 75-foot vessel. Divers who will assist with further cleanup strategies are en route to the scene.

Oil spilled to water typically forms oily patches that spread out quickly and can cover many acres of water.

All oil spills cause environmental damage, regardless of size. Prompt reporting of oil spills is important because the sooner responders are notified, the sooner they can work to minimize potential harm to the environment. Oil spills can be reported to 1-800-OILS-911.

The cause of the sinking is under investigation.

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Media Contacts:

Linda Kent, Department of Ecology media relations; 360-407-6239; cell, 360-791-9830; linda.kent@ecy.wa.gov
David Mosley, U.S. Coast Guard media relations; 503-861-6237, david.b.mosley@uscg.mil

For more information:

Cowlitz County Health and Human Services (www.co.cowlitz.wa.us/Index.aspx?NID=205)

Ecology Spills Program: (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/spills.html)