Ship wake causes $1 million in damage at Columbia River marina

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(KALAMA, Wash.) — The Port of Kalama estimates more than $1 million in damage to boats and docks at its marina after a large vessel passed by early Monday morning at an “excessive speed,” The Daily News of Longview, Wash., reported.

The marina is sheltered from the Columbia River by a jetty, but the passing vessel caused a swell and suction of water that affected the marina between 4 and 5 a.m., said Liz Newman, marketing and communications manager.

Some boats in the marina were thrust up and stranded on top of docks.

After reviewing security video and cargo vessel tracking information, the port identified the containership SM Mumbai as the suspect vessel. The tracking system recorded the ship going more than 15 knots, or about 17.3 mph, said Liz Newman, port marketing and communications manager.

There is no set speed limit on the river, but vessel operators must comply with federal regulations that say the speed must be safe in light of surrounding circumstances, Newman said. Maritime law dealing with collisions is the same as for vessels causing wake damage, she said.

All cargo ships sailing the Columbia River must have a contracted pilot aboard, but the name of the pilot was not available Tuesday.

The Liberian-flagged SM Mumbai was about 100 miles west of the mouth of the Columbia River as of midafternoon Tuesday on its way to South Korea.

Click here to read the story. Click here to view security camera video of the incident.

By Professional Mariner Staff