The Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Sparna has been granted approval to leave its mooring at the Kalama, Washington en route to Japan, after it suffered severe damage as it briefly grounded in the Columbia River on March 21.
The captain of the port order on the bulker was cancelled as the US Coast Guard officials “inspected the Sparna and have approved the temporary repairs to make the vessel seaworthy,” Lt. Cmdr. Ben Russell, chief inspections department, Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland, said.
“Our inspection team has monitored the planning and implementation of the repairs over the last two months. We are comfortable with the outcome and wish the crew of the Sparna a safe voyage across the Pacific Ocean,” he added.
The 623-foot Sparna, fully loaded with grain in its cargo holds, ran aground near Cathlamet resulting in the ship needing to undergo temporary repairs before departing to a foreign shipyard for permanent repair.
“All repair work was completed to the satisfaction of the Coast Guard and the vessel’s flag state of Panama,” the coast guard said.
The authorities said that a damage assessment, conducted after the incident, revealed multiple fractures, the largest being 25-foot by 5-foot wide with a visible boulder lodged inside, adding that the damage to the ship was contained to two flooded compartments.
“The boulder that was lodged inside the hull of the vessel during the incident was incased in steel and concrete and is still aboard the Sparna,” the USCG said.
Although there were no signs of oil or fuel spilled from the vessel following the incident, the coast guard, along with state pollution responders and a contracted oil spill response organization, continued to monitor the Panamanian-flagged bulker, which was carrying 218,380 gallons of high sulfur fuel and 39,380 gallons of marine diesel at the time of the incident.