An oil tanker ran aground near Skamokawa, Washington, Thursday morning.
The Argent Cosmos lost the use of a fuel pump and ran aground around 6:30 a.m. before notifying the U.S. Coast Guard. The Panamanian-flagged tanker is carrying 1.63 million gallons of ethanol, 6.65 million gallons of glycol, 458,074 gallons of high-sulfur oil and 99,064 gallons of low-sulfur oil.
Headed to ethanol export terminal:
According to vessel-tracking service Marine Traffic, the vessel was outbound after stopping at Port Westward, a Clatskanie-area terminal that includes ethanol exports.
No pollution reported:
An aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Astoria flew over at 9 a.m. and reported no signs of pollution. There are also no reports of flooding on the vessel or injuries to crew members.
No movement order issued:
The Coast Guard sent an inspection team to assess the vessel. Capt. Bill Timmons, commander of the Coast Guard’s Sector Columbia River, has placed a no-movement order on the vessel until Coast Guard inspectors ensure the safety of the environment and the ship’s crew.
Rescue tugs dispatched:
Two tugs are on scene to assist the vessel as the water rises with the incoming tide.
Read said the Argent Cosmos was sent to Longview, Washington, for repairs and further inspection.
Notorious Channel: Narrow way with bends:
The Columbia near Skamokawa has been the site of several recent groundings. Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read said there have been at least five groundings in the past 16 months in the area of Skamokawa, where the shipping channel is narrow and the river bends. “Not much can go wrong and you can run aground there,” he said.
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Source: The Daily Astorian