The severely damaged bulk carrier Sparna was taken up the Columbia River to the North Kalama, Washington pier, yesterday afternoon, the United States Coast Guard said.
The 623-foot grain bulk carrier, started the transit from its anchorage near river marker 36 with the assistance of two tugs and a Coast Guard safety zone escort at about 12:30 p.m., and moored at the Kalama North pier at about 6 p.m.
The Panamanian-flagged bulker was followed on its journey by a National Response Corporation vessel with pollution response capabilities. The vessel’s fuel tanks remained intact throughout the incident, the USCG said.
“The main objectives during the transit was to maintain the safety of the Sparna crew, maintain a safe navigational channel throughout the transit and respond as necessary to environmental concerns,” said Cmdr. Jonathan Hellberg, incident commander.
A 100-yard safety zone surrounding the motor vessel Sparna was put in place by the captain of the port throughout the transit.
Following the transit, the captain of the port lifted the safety zone and the Columbia River is now open to all traffic.
Sparna sustained multiple fractures, the largest being 25-foot by 5-foot wide with a visible boulder lodged inside, when it grounded in a narrow part of the river near Cathlamet, Washington on March 21.
The vessel was fully loaded with grain in its cargo holds and was carrying 218,380 gallons of high sulfur fuel and 39,380 gallons of marine diesel.
Relevant authorities are investigating the cause of the incident.