Coast Guard, partners to remove fuel from capsized ferry

(ASTORIA, Ore.) – The U.S. Coast Guard and partner organizations are scheduled to remove fuel and other pollution threats from the ferry Tourist No. 2 on Thursday.

The Coast Guard initially responded July 28 after receiving a report that the vessel was taking on water at the 6th Street Pier in Astoria. The Coast Guard authorized up to $200,000 to be spent from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, a pot of federal money set aside to allow the federal government to respond immediately to pollution incidents, to contract a company to place containment boom around the vessel and to remove the pollutants.

Tourist No. 2, a retired ferry, lies partially submerged July 28 in Astoria, Ore. The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the vessel sinking. U.S. Coast Guard photo

The Coast Guard has developed a plan in conjunction with local contractors to stabilize the vessel in order to commence pollution removal operations. This stabilization process will involve refloating the vessel to ensure the safety of the divers and the first responders as they work to remove approximately 500 gallons of oil from the vessel.

“We are working closely with our local partners to remove any potential contaminants from the vessel,” said Coast Guard Capt. Justin Noggle, the deputy commander of Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. “We are committed to ensuring the safety of our first responders and protection of the environment.”

The Coast Guard is working with the owner and local and state agencies to generate a plan for final disposition of the vessel once all pollution is removed.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Rich Miller