MARCH 24, 2016 — The 54,881 dwt Panamanian flagged bulk carrier Sparna is now awaiting repairs pierside in North Kalama, WA, after briefly grounding near river marker 36 in Oregon on Monday morning.
The 623 ft Sparna is owned by Japan's Santoku Senpaku Co Ltd and was fully loaded with grain in its cargo holds, and carrying 218,380 gallons of high sulfur fuel and 39,380 gallons of marine diesel.
A damage assessment was submitted to the Coast Guard by Ballard Marine Construction early Tuesday morning. Shared with both Washington and Oregon state responders, the assessment showed that the ship had sustained multiple fractures, the largest being a 25-foot by 5-foot wide fracture with a visible boulder lodged inside. The damage to was contained to two flooded compartments.
A Unified Command consisting of the Coast Guard, operators of the motor vessel Sparna, Columbia River Pilots and the National Response Corporation Environmental Services decided that the vessel should be moved up river and oversaw the safe transit. It was made with the assistance of two tugs and a Coast Guard safety zone escort.
As a precaution, the Sparna was followed by a NRC vessel with pollution response capabilities.
The vessel's fuel tanks remained intact throughout the incident.
"The main objectives during the transit was to maintain the safety of the Sparna crew, maintain a safe navigational channel throughout the transit and respond as necessary to environmental concerns," said Cmdr. Jonathan Hellberg, USCG, incident commander. "The successful transit was a unified team effort, and we are very pleased with the outcome."
A 100-yard safety zone surrounding the motor vessel Sparna was put in place by the captain of the port throughout the transit. After the safe transit upriver the captain of the port lifted the safety zone and the Columbia River is now open to all traffic.