Washington State Department of Ecology - September 16, 2013


Sunken vessel Granby raised in Columbia River

LONGVIEW – The vessel Granby that sank upriver of Willow Grove Park on the Columbia River in late August has been raised, and salvage operations are ongoing.

The vessel sank due to a broken exhaust port on the boat’s auxiliary engine, which created a 2-inch hole in the hull below the water line when it gave out. The vessel owner, who is paying for the salvage including removing the vessel from the waterway, has fixed the problem that led to the sinking. Ecology is monitoring the situation.

No additional oil was spilled as the vessel was raised.

Oil-containment boom remains in place around the vessel, which was raised by attaching flotation devices to it. Residual diesel fuel remains in the fuel tanks. Crews will work on inventorying and removing residual oil in coming days.

Responders were able to pump an estimated 250 gallons of oil from the vessel when it was underwater. Ecology estimates 50 to 100 gallons of fuel spilled from the vessel. This number could be revised after the agency completes its investigation.

Some other environmental threats such as batteries were removed from the 75-foot vessel while it was underwater.

Final disposition of the vessel has yet to be determined.

Ecology, the U.S. Coast Guard and the vessel owner were alerted to the sinking when a citizen reported it Aug. 27.

Oil spills can be reported 24 hours a day to 1-800-OILS-911.

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. All oil spills cause environmental damage, regardless of size.

Jim Sachet, Spill Response Team supervisor, said: “People who live, work and recreate on and near our rivers, lakes, oceans and streams are an important first line of defense against environmental damage. Quick reporting is essential when it comes to containing a spill. It’s important to let us know right away if you see any indication of a spill, such as oil sheen on the water.”

Sachet noted that people can find Ecology’s “Spills Aren’t Slick” signs that include the toll-free reporting line in key places such as to marinas, parks, boat ramps and other water entry points.

Oil spilled to water typically forms oily patches that spread out quickly and can cover many acres of water. In fact, one quart of oil has the potential to foul 100,000 gallons of water.

The sunken vessel was built in 1929. The wood-hulled trawler was no longer used for commercial purposes at the time it sank.

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Media Contact:

Linda Kent, 360-791-9830, linda.kent@ecy.wa.gov

More information:

Ecology Incident website (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/incidents/PCGranbySinking/index.html)

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

How to Report a Spill (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/other/reportaspill.htm)

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)