Bulker grounds in Columbia River after steering malfunction


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

(ASTORIA, Ore.) — The Coast Guard responded to a 738-foot motor vessel which ran aground on the Miller Sands Bar, east of Tongue Point, on Sunday.

The vessel was able to pull itself off the bar early Monday morning at high tide, with no injuries or pollution reported.

Coast Guard watch standers at Sector Columbia River received the call Sunday afternoon that the bulk carrier Gorgoypikoos had run soft aground, while transiting at 10 knots, due to a steering control malfunction.

The vessel had a crew of 21 and was reported to be carrying grain and approximately 318,000 gallons of fuel oil.

The Coast Guard dispatched a federal investigator aboard a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Cape Disappointment, as well as an air crew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Astoria.

The Columbia River Pilots and Columbia River Bar Pilots monitored traffic and issued restricted movements due to the stern of the vessel partially obstructing the channel.

Three tugboats arrived to assist Gorgoypikoos, however the vessel was able to refloat itself and continued to its original destination in Longview, Wash.

By Professional Mariner Staff