Bulker cleared to leave US with boulder still in hull

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(WARRENTON, Ore.) — The captain of the port for Oregon and southern Washington canceled the captain of the port order on the motor vessel Sparna, allowing the vessel to leave its mooring at Kalama, Wash., on Monday.

Sparna, a 623-foot bulk grain carrier, briefly ran aground near Cathlamet on the Columbia River on March 21, resulting in the ship needing to undergo temporary repairs.

“We have inspected the Sparna and have approved the temporary repairs to make the vessel seaworthy,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ben Russell, chief inspections department, Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland. “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.”

The original COTP order was put in place immediately after the grounding incident and required the ship undergo emergency repairs to the hull 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 boulder that was lodged inside the hull of the vessel during the incident was encased in steel and concrete and is still aboard Sparna.

By Professional Mariner Staff