Sunken Ship On Columbia Poses Oil Spill Risk

Aug 28, 2013

Washington officials responding to a sunken vessel in the Columbia River are advising people to avoid contact with a stretch of the water downstream from Longview.

The Granby is a 75-foot, wood-hulled trawler that was built in 1929. It is no longer used commercially, but it could be carrying up to 600 gallons of oil, including diesel fuel. The vessel’s owner reported its sinking at 7 a.m. Tuesday. Linda Kent is a spokeswoman for the Washington Department of Ecology. She says as a precaution people and their pets should avoid contact with the water around Willow Grove Park. That’s about five miles west of Longview.

Kent: “There has been some sheen observed in the area, and as you know oil is a toxic substance. So, it’s better to play it safe.”

Response crews have placed oil containment equipment around the boat. Divers have been deployed to see how much oil is on board. The cause of the sinking is under investigation.

Copyright 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting