USCG Keeps an Eye on Grounded Bulker for Pollution

A Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Sparna, fully-loaded with grain, is under observation for pollution after it ran aground in the Columbia River on March 21, according to the US Coast Guard.

The 2006-built Sparna is heavily loaded with 218,380 gallons of high sulfur fuel and 39,380 gallons of marine diesel.

“The positive news so far is that responders have not observed any oil in the water,” said Capt. Dan Travers, Coast Guard Captain of the Port for the Columbia River.

The 623-foot bulker grounded in a narrow part of the river near Cathlamet, Washington, while a river pilot was still onboard.

Sparna sustained damages below the waterline, but the authorities decided that it will maintain position and be repaired at the site.

Two tugs, the PJ Brix and Pacific Escort, were launched to help stabilize the vessel as it listed to its port side after taking on water in void spaces.

There are no reports of injuries due to the grounding, and the authorities launched an investigation into the cause of the incident.

According to USCG, the navigable channel of the river has not been closed.

World Maritime News Staff

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