SS Catala Shipwreck

Summary Statement / Investigation Report

The wreck of the SS Catala is completely removed and the beach at Damon Point State Park near Ocean Shores, Washington is on its way to a full restoration thanks to a 17-month multi-agency effort to protect the sensitive area from the threat of a major oil spill.

The Catala, part of Northwest lore, ran aground during a storm on January 1, 1965. Years later, after the upper portions of the ship were cut off, the hull was buried in the sand. Time, winds and tides shifted the beach, once again exposing the rusty remains. Then, in April 2006, a beachcomber poked a stick into an opening on the hull’s side and discovered an oily, thick sludge inside.

The state Department of Ecology (Ecology) and four other natural resource agencies quickly teamed up to plan the cleanup of oil from the Catala and prevent the threat of an oil spill from her unstable tanks.

Summary of Information
Date of incident January 1, 1965 (re-discovered April 2006)
Location Damon Point State Park, Ocean Shores
County Grays Harbor
Status of incident* Closed
Product /Quantity Heavy fuel oil / 34,500 gallons (total)
Recovered product 34,500 gallons
Cost Recovery $ 0; no RP
NRDA* $ 1,855.21
Penalty $ 0; no RP
Cause Ran aground during storm
Responsible party Search showed last owner died; no person or company identified as RP.
* Status:

Active: cleanup in progress
Inactive: No clean up activities. Investigation follow-up
Closed: Investigation completed

* NRDA: Natural Resource Damage Assessment

Season 1 - $ 4.53 million Season 2 - $ 2.56 million Total $ 7.09 million

Total reimbursed from National Pollution Fund Center (NPFC) to Ecology = $6.14 million. Note: these funds were expended from the Washington Oil Spill Response Account. Funds reimbursed to Ecology by NPFC were returned to the Oil Spill Response Account.

In addition to Ecology’s costs, the WDNR spent $0.5 million (one time legislative appropriation) for removal & salvage of the steel hull.


Historical Information


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