The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(PORTLAND, Ore.) — The Coast Guard, Washington Dept. of Ecology and Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality are proceeding with the assessment of the 431-foot converted flat deck barge Davy Crockett.
Ballasting operations were completed Thursday night, which successfully lowered the stern 17-feet. Four remotely operated pumps flooded cargo hold compartments with approximately 600,000 gallons of water. This will allow divers to access previously unreachable compartments and determine the whereabouts of pollutants that remain on the vessel. Further clean-up or salvage planning will follow this determination.
â€œLong term salvage plans or timeline estimates would be speculative until more is known about pollutants contained within the compartments of the Davy Crockett. Parallel to the recovery and salvage operation, an investigation is being conducted into the events leading up to the spill of oil,â€ said Coast Capt. Daniel LeBlanc, Federal On Scene Coordinator for the Davy Crockett Unified Response and Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland.
The initial release of oil occurred during a salvage operation being conducted by the owner. Davy Crockett is currently anchored and stabilized securely near Camas, Wash., approximately four miles upstream from the Interstate 205 Bridge.
3,500 gallons of oily water have been collected to date. A previous release stated in error that the collected material was oil as opposed to oily water. The oily water was collected from within the boom, within the compartments of the Davy Crockett and surrounding area.
An estimated 70 gallons of actual oil leaked from the vessel on Jan. 27, 2011. 49,600 pounds of debris have been removed, including batteries, rail ties, mercury laden lamps and tires. 3,600-feet of containment boom and 10,000 feet of absorbent boom have been deployed.
Skimmers are standing by on scene with the capability of capturing 750,000 gallons of oil per day. Total expenditures of all involved agencies and contractors are approximately $1.6 million to date. To download video of the Davy Crockett during ballast operations on Feb. 3, 2011 click here. To download imagery of the Davy Crockett during ballast operations on Feb. 3, 2011 click here. To view previous press releases click here. The morning of Jan. 27, 2011 The Washington Dept. of Ecology and Coast Guard received reports of a light sheen and traced it back to the Davy Crockett. Immediate response actions were taken and the Davy Crockett Unified Command was formed.
The Davy Crockett was built in Houston as a liberty ship in 1942 and was later converted to a flat deck barge by a private owner.