Photos: Grounded Bulker Sparna Moved to Pier
On Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard oversaw the movement of the damaged bulker Sparna from an anchorage near the site of her grounding on the Columbia River to a pier at Kalama, Washington. Two tugboats and the Columbia River Pilots provided assistance. The transit took about six hours.
While the Sparna's fuel tanks were undamaged in the grounding and no pollution was reported, a response vessel followed with spill control equipment. She is carrying 200,000 gallons of high sulfur fuel and 40,000 gallons of marine diesel.
The Coast Guard put a 300-food safety zone around the vessel for the transit; the river has since been reopened to all traffic.
“The successful transit was a unified team effort, and we are very pleased with the outcome,” said Commander Jonathan Hellberg, the USCG officer in charge of the evolution.
On March 22, the USCG released results of a damage assessment for the grounded bulker. The survey, performed by contractors Ballard Marine Construction, found multiple fractures, including a 25-foot by five-foot crack with a visible boulder lodged inside. However, despite the extensive impact damage, hull penetrations were limited to two flooded compartments.
The 620-foot Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Sparna went aground in a narrow stretch of the Columbia River near Cathlamet, Washington, in the early hours of Monday morning. The Coast Guard said that she had a river pilot onboard and was in the outbound lane when she ran into trouble. The exact cause of the incident is still under investigation.