Columbia River News

06 Jan 2020

US Coast Guard Vessel Capsizes

(File photo: Trevor Lilburn, U.S. Coast Guard)

A U.S. Coast Guard vessel capsized on Saturday with four crew members aboard near Pier 39 in Astoria, Ore.Four Coast Guardsmen were aboard the 26-foot Coast Guard Trailerable Aids to Navigation Boat conducting routine operations when the vessel reportedly encountered a series of heavy wakes that came over the bow, which resulted in an unrecoverable starboard list that capsized the vessel, the Coast Guard said.At 11:39 a.m., watchstanders at the 13th Coast Guard District command…

03 Jan 2020

For Fireboats, The Heat is On

(Credit: Metal Shark)

These days, cost-conscious municipalities across the fruited plain, from sea to shining sea, are ordering new waterborne assets to cover their many local responsibilities. When they do, they want ‘more bang for their buck,’ combining multiple missions – and the equipment that makes it all possible – onto one hull. That’s a tall order on the typically compact patrol boat style hulls that tend to be big on performance, but short on space for equipment that can demand a significant physical footprint.

27 Dec 2019

Fishing Vessel Sinks in Coos Bay

A U.S. Coast Guard boatcrew rescued four people from Darean Rose, a 40-foot commercial fishing vessel that sank in Coos Bay, Ore. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Sector North Bend)

Four people were rescued from a commercial fishing vessel that sank in Coos Bay, Ore. on Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.The 40-foot Darean Rose capsized and sank shortly after leaving the fuel pier at the Charleston Marina with four people aboard who reported sustaining minor injuries.Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend were notified at 2:54 p.m. that the vessel had run aground and capsized right after departing the pier.A Coast Guard Station Coos Bay 29-foot Response…

27 Jun 2019

Military Veteran Finds Calling in Maritime Program

Jennifer Allen. Photo: Clatsop Community College

Jennifer Allen is a U.S. military veteran who lives with PTSD. She is also a recent MERTS graduate pursuing a career in the maritime industry.MERTS (Marine and Environmental Research and Training Station) is a small campus situated just east of Astoria on the banks of the Columbia River. It is part of Clatsop Community College and houses a variety of programs including a robust maritime curriculum offering U.S. Coast Guard certifications and associate degrees.“Before coming to MERTS I was going through a rough patch,” Jennifer said.

17 Jan 2019

Jensen Maritime Provides Design for Shaver's New Tugboat

Photo: Jensen Maritime

Jensen Maritime, Crowley Maritime Corp.’s Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering company, has provided the detailed design for Shaver Transportation Company’s new, Z-drive tug – Samantha S. The multi-purpose tug was built at Diversified Marine Inc., in Portland, Ore., and is operating along the West Coast. The tug is ABS-classed and carries a FFV1 firefighting notation.The 112-foot by 44-foot tug has a 22-foot draft, was built for escort, ocean towing and ship assist, and has firefighting capabilities if needed. The tug features a raised pilot house and a squared forward end.

03 Jun 2018

Dockside Repair of the USCGC Bluebell

Photo: Vanport Marine

Portland, Oregon-based Vanport Marine, Inc. has been awarded the contract to perform the Dockside Repair of the USCGC Bluebell. The scope of the contract includes upgrades to the Allied buoy and cargo crane, deck preservation, repairs to the weather tight doors, renewal of the sewage shore tie valve, and repair of the remote fuel cutoff valve and deck box. The work will be completed at the vessel’s home pier at 676 N. Basin Ave, Portland, OR. The performance period will begin on June 12, 2018 and end July 18, 2018. The cutter Bluebell is an inland buoy tender built by the Birchfield Boiler Co.

18 May 2018

Tidewater Attains First Sub M COI on the West Coast

Back row (l-r): Chris Springer, District 13 USCG; Bill Collins, Tidewater EHS&S Director; Josh Jarman, Tidewater Quality & Compliance Manager; Marc Schwartz, Tidewater Maintenance & Engineering Manager; Craig Nelson, Tidewater Vessel Operations Manager; Bruce Reed, Tidewater VP & COO; Josh Nichols, Tidewater Captain & Assistant Port Captain. Front row (l-r): Austin Murai, MSTC USCG; Brian Fletcher, Tidewater Port Captain; Jeff Deronde, MST1 USCG (Photo: Tidewater)

Tidewater Transportation and Terminals of Vancouver, Wash., announced today that the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance and the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River has issued a Certificate of Inspection (COI) to the towing vessel Crown Point for compliance under the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) Subchapter M safety regulations governing the inspection, standards and safety management systems of towing vessels.This COI is the first issued to a west coast (PACAREA) tugboat/towboat operator.The Crown Point is the first of three custom-built river towboats built for Tidewater in 2015.

23 Apr 2018

USCG Cutter Returns with $200 Mln Worth of Cocaine


Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nate Littlejohn)

The crew aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC-623) returned home Friday to Astoria after a 60-day counternarcotic patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.While patrolling international waters off the coast of Mexico and Central America, Steadfast’s law enforcement boarding teams intercepted and stopped eight separate vessels suspected of smuggling illicit drugs. The eight boardings resulted in the discovery and seizure of approximately 13,123 pounds of cocaine worth…

21 Apr 2018

USCG Cutter Seizes $200m in Cocaine

Family members of the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast's crew file aboard the cutter after it returned to homeport at the 17th Street Pier in Astoria, Ore., April 20, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read.

The crew aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC-623) returned home Friday to Astoria after a 60-day counternarcotic patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. While patrolling international waters off the coast of Mexico and Central America, Steadfast’s law enforcement boarding teams intercepted and stopped eight separate vessels suspected of smuggling illicit drugs. The eight boardings resulted in the discovery and seizure of approximately 13,123 pounds of cocaine worth more than $200 million wholesale.

02 Apr 2018

Barge Company Fined for Fertilizer Spill into Columbia, Snake Rivers

Source: CSR Lock System

A local barge company has been fined $18,000 for spilling 40,000 gallons of liquid urea ammonium nitrate into the Snake and Columbia rivers. Urea ammonium nitrate is a common fertilizer that is corrosive to steel. An investigation by the Washington Department of Ecology found that two steel tank barges owned and operated by Tidewater Barge Lines, Inc. were not properly maintained, causing the liquid fertilizer to spill into the rivers during three separate incidents in April 2017.

26 Feb 2018

Disabled Bulker Towed to Seattle after Engine Room Blast

Main diesel engine components malfunctioned on board a 653-foot bulk carrier and caused a localized explosion, Thursday, about 120 miles west of the Columbia River entrance. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Panamanian-flagged Federal Iris was en route from the Port of Changzhou, China, to pick up cargo in Longview, Wash., when the explosion occurred. There were no injuries to the 21 crew members aboard, but the damage rendered the main propulsion system inoperable. The Federal Iris crew enacted emergency salvage operations and contracted the crew of the emergency response towing vessel, the Denise Foss, which is permanently stationed at Neah Bay, Wash.

15 Feb 2018

Triple-screw Tug for the Hudson

(Photo: Cummins/Alan Haig-Brown)

“The Daisy Mae is the closest you can get to Z-drive maneuverability, without the cost of Z-drive,” maintains her builder Joseph Rodriguez of Rodriguez Ship Building Inc. in Bayou LaBatre, Ala. Rodriguez has designed and built a lot of tugs over the years and doesn’t make this claim lightly. Further more he backs it up with his description of the beamy 82 by 32-foot tug that his yard delivered to Coeymans Marine Towing. This is one of the Carver group companies based at the Port of Coeymans 110 miles up the Columbia River from New York.

29 Jan 2018

Riverboat Touring: Status Quo or Ready to Grow?

Credit: Pamela Harding

If you want to book a plush river cruise vacation in America’s heartland – say on the Mississippi or Ohio Rivers – you can do it. The American Queen Steamboat Company’s website offers as many as 13 river cruises in 2018. Certainly, the ‘bourbon cruise,’ aboard the lavish American Duchess sounds like fun. Or, maybe next year you can sign up for the nine-day ‘Derby Cruise.’ And, next year means 2019 because the 2018 cruise is sold out. Maybe the most fun is that passengers themselves…

19 Jan 2018

NTSB Issues Report on 2016 Columbia River Bulker Grounding

Nenita, a 378-foot Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier laden with grain, ran aground in the Columbia River near Skamokawa, Wash., November 19, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Sector Columbia River)

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a report on its investigation into the November 2016 grounding of the bulk carrier Nenita in the Columbia River. The Marshall Islands-flagged vessel was fully laden when it suffered an engine failure that impacted its ability to maneuver and subsequently ran aground at Three Tree Point on the Washington State side of the river. The ship’s bulbous bow and hull were damaged, but no injuries or pollution were reported. The vessel was towed to Longview, Wash.

18 Jan 2018

Coast Guard Helo Crew Hoists Men Stranded in Oregon

Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ali Flockerzi

A U.S. Coast Guard aircrew rescued three men after they became stranded by the rising tide at Indian Beach, Wednesday.   The helicopter crew from Sector Columbia River safely hoisted the men and transported them to Canon Beach Fire Department personnel waiting on shore. Sector watchstanders received a report from Seaside 911 dispatchers with a request for assistance at 12:20 p.m. after the three men, who were fishing in tide pools, became stranded due to high tide. There were no reported injuries at the time of the rescue.

03 Jan 2018

Washington State Sued for Blocking Coal Exports to Asia

© Unkas Photo / Adobe Stock

A company that planned to build a coal export terminal in the Pacific Northwest to ship western U.S. coal to Asian markets sued the state of Washington on Wednesday for blocking construction last year. Lighthouse Resources Inc filed a lawsuit in federal court against Washington Governor Jay Inslee and two state regulators for allegedly violating the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause by denying permits to allow the company to ship coal mined in Wyoming, Montana and other western states through its proposed Millennium Bulk Terminal to clients in Japan and South Korea.

26 Jul 2017

Shaver Transportation Selects Rapp Marine Winch Package

Photo: Rapp Marine

Shaver Transportation of Portland, OR, operating vessels within the Columbia River region of the Pacific Northwest for over a hundred years, has selected Rapp Marine as the supplier of the two heavy-duty load handling winches on their latest tugboat. Rapp Marine has almost two decades of experience of designing and delivering rugged winches for workboat market, and has been around as a company for over a hundred years as well. The latest tugboat to the Shaver Transportation fleet is designed by Jensen Maritime of Seattle, WA and is under construction at Diversified Marine of Portland, OR.

07 Jul 2017

Tanker Runs Aground near Skamokawa, Wash.

U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy Sector Columbia River.

A 557-foot tanker Argent Cosmos lost use of a fuel pump and ran aground near Skamokawa, Wash. at 6:28 a.m. Thursday while heading outbound on the Columbia River following a port call in Longview, Wash. The Panamanian-flagged tanker is loaded with 1.63 million gallons of ethanol and 6.65 million gallons of monoethylene glycol. It also has 458,074 gallons of high-sulfur oil and 99,064 gallons of low-sulfur oil aboard. There have been no reports of pollution in the river, flooding aboard the vessel or injuries to crewmembers, according to the U.S.

08 Jan 2017

Five Rescued Near Columbia River Entrance

The crew of the commercial fishing vessel Sea Ballad acted as good Samaritans and rescued five fellow commercial fishermen after the fishing vessel Star King, a 55-foot stern trawler homeported in Astoria, Ore., sank near the entrance to the Columbia River, Jan. 7, 2017. Photo USCG

The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan commercial fishing crew rescued five people from the water after the fishing vessel Star King, a 55-foot stern trawler homeported in Astoria, capsized and sank near the entrance to the Columbia River early Saturday morning. All five fishermen were pulled from the water by the crew of the fishing vessel Sea Ballad and were transferred to the Coast Guard 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew, from Station Cape Disappointment, who transported them to the station in Ilwaco, Wash., where they did not need medical attention.

24 Feb 2017

US Detains 2 Panama-flagged Bulkers

Two Panama-flagged bulk carriers were detained in the U.S. on February 23, 2017, after substandard safety issues discovered during routine exams aboard the vessels along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. The Atlantic Ruby, a 590-foot bulk carrier was boarded in Portland on February 23, after Port State Control Officers detected the SOLAS deficiencies. U.S. Coast Guard inspectors found the fixed fire extinguishing system was improperly serviced, with the time delays left disconnected. The time delay ensures personnel inside a room are able to escape before the fixed fire extinguishing agent is released. A separate Port State Control exam conducted in Kalama onboard the Amber L, a 609-foot bulk carrier, identified several safety discrepancies.

28 Feb 2017

Portland Port, ICTSI to terminate Lease

ICTSI Oregon, Inc. and the Port of Portland have mutually agreed to terminate a 25-year lease agreement to operate the container facility at the Port’s Terminal 6. The agreement allows ICTSI Oregon to be relieved of its long-term lease obligations effective March 31, 2017, pending approval by the Port Commission. In exchange, the Port will receive $11.45 million in compensation to rebuild business, as well as additional container handling equipment, spare parts and tools at the terminal. “Small businesses, farmers, agricultural producers, shippers and communities throughout the Columbia River region deserve and need a fully-functioning container terminal,” said ICTSI Oregon CEO Elvis Ganda.

21 Apr 2017

Washington Maritime Economy Grows Stronger -Study

© Bill Perry / Adobe Stock

A new report from the Washington Maritime Federation shows strong health of industry, increased average salaries and tremendous opportunity to continue to grow maritime jobs. The Washington State Maritime Sector Economic Impact Study 2017 Update, released at the April 2017 Propeller Club luncheon, updates the seminal 2013 study of the same name and provides a detailed analysis of the positive economic impact of the state’s maritime industry. “This study builds upon past efforts and clearly shows the maritime industry is a cornerstone of the State’s economy…

17 May 2017

Navigating the ABCs of SCR

The Earl W. Redd on christening day

On the way to Tier IV compliance, it turns out that experience counts. In late February, the nation’s first Tier IV, Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) tugboat was christened. That’s probably not earthshaking news all by itself – after all, SCR isn’t all that new – but the event likely ushers in a new era of powerful domestic workboats that also come with a greener environmental footprint. How all of that comes together is a bigger story, and one which will play out again and again in the coming year or two.

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