Cruise Ship Remains Stuck on Bar near Washougal

Monday, March 27, 2006
The Empress of the North lost a lot of weight on March 25, but the stubborn sternwheeler refused to budge from her perch on a Columbia River sandbar. Rescuers had a simple plan to save the 360-foot ship, which grounded near Washougal, Wash., on the morning of March 24. They would drain most of the ship's diesel fuel, then hope the reduced weight and a rising afternoon tide would lift the Empress enough to maneuver downstream. It took crews hours longer than they thought to drain more than 20,000 gallons of diesel, partly because of a mechanical problem. Still, the Empress stayed stuck, even when three tugboats teamed up to yank and pivot the ship off its perch.

Rescuers may try to come up with a new plan or may give the tugs another try. Crews are being careful not to injure any workers or spill any of the thousands of gallons of fuel left on the ship. None of the diesel taken off the ship spilled. Divers and inspectors have found no damage to the boat, but they have not been able to assess the portion of the hull sitting on the sand, gravel and rock bar. If the boat is found to be in good shape after it is refloated, it probably will be taken to Cascade General's dry dock on Swan Island. If damaged, it will be likely move to the nearby Port of Washougal.

The Empress ran aground at about 10 a.m. on March 24 with 79 crew and 179 passengers who had paid for a weeklong, round-trip cruise from Astoria to the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. All passengers safely moved to a sister ship, the 230-foot sternwheeler Queen of the West, and toured the Portland area March 25. Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the accident.


Maritime Reporter September 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds


Baltic Index Slips as Demand Falls

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Monday as demand dropped across all vessel categories.

Becker Marine, Kotug Sign MOU for LNG Hybrid Barge

Press release - Becker Marine Systems and KOTUG signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch a LNG Hybrid Barge in the Port of Rotterdam with effect from June 2017.

SSL Expands into Finland for Höegh Autoliners

Höegh Autoliners has appointed Scandinavian Shipping & Logistics (SSL) as its agent in Finland from December 1, 2015. SSL, which has worked with Höegh Autoliners


USCG: Body Found in Search for Ship Sunk in Hurricane

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday said its crews had found a body and an empty, heavily damaged lifeboat in their search for the cargo ship El Faro, believed to have

USCG: Missing Cargo Ship El Faro Believed to Have Sunk

The U.S. Coast Guard now believes that the missing cargo ship El Faro sank after sailing into the path of Hurricane Joaquin in the Bahamas, a spokesman said on Monday.

Man Medevacs from Boxship Off Santa Rosa Island

The Coast Guard medically evacuated a 46-year-old man from a 738-foot container ship approximately 6 miles south of Santa Rosa Island, Sunday. At 10:01 a.

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2010 sec (5 req/sec)