Barge runs aground in high winds near Bonneville Lock and Dam

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:


(SEATTLE) — The crew of the Tidewater tugboat Hurricane, which pushed an unladen barge aground Wednesday got the tug and tow underway enroute Vancouver, Wash., where the barge will be certified gas-free for closer internal examination.

Coast Guard investigators believe wind was factor when one of three barges being transported by the tugboat through the Columbia River ran aground near the Bonneville Lock and Dam approximately 40 miles east of Portland, Ore., at 1:45 a.m. Wind speed was 25 knots with gusts from 45-50 knots. No pollution has been reported as a result of the grounding.

Coast Guard Sector Portland received a report of the grounding at 2:10 a.m. The crew of the Tidewater tug Hurricane was transporting three unladen barges through the river when the first of the barges made brief contact with the bottom of the river. The tug and barges continued to the Bonneville Dam lock where they stopped to examine the barge.

Tidewater Barge Lines sent a dive team and spill response trailer to the scene. Crews from the Army Corps of Engineers responded to the navigation lock to help assess the situation and prevent any fuel or oil from leaving the lock chamber and entering the river.

Sector Portland dispatched an incident management team and an investigative and inspection team to check for possible pollution, ascertain the condition of the grounded barge, and to determine the cause of the grounding.

An unrecoverable sheen was detected, but it was determined to be from another source.

By Professional Mariner Staff