UPDATE: Tidewater petroleum barge strikes locks at The Dalles Dam

Vessel proceeds after survey finds no damage

By Craig Brown, Columbian Metro Editor



A Tidewater barge loaded with nearly 1.8 million gallons of diesel struck a part of the approach to the locks at The Dalles Dam on Friday, but no pollution resulted.

After a survey by the U.S. Coast Guard and marine safety inspectors, the double-bottom barge Tri-City Voyager and tug Defiance were allowed to continue upstream.

Coast Guard investigators concluded that the barge struck the walls of the lock approach to The Dalles and not a submerged object, as was initially reported.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received a call at 3:13 a.m. Friday from Tidewater, reporting that the Defiance was pushing the Tri-City Voyager when the barge struck a submerged object while headed upstream near The Dalles Dam. However, the report was amended after an investigation. There are no reports of a hazard to navigation in the Columbia River, according to the Coast Guard.

Immediately after the incident, crew members conducted a damage assessment, including sounding their fuel tanks and bottom hull.

They found no breach and reported no pollution, according to a Coast Guard news release.

The tug and barge continued northeast, through The Dalles Dam locks, at approximately 4 a.m., and safely moored at the upper basin north wall. The Dalles lock operators reported to the Coast Guard that they also observed no smell of diesel fuel and no visible pollution.

Members of the Coast Guard Incident Management Division, from Sector Columbia River, in Astoria, Ore., responded, as well as marine inspectors from Marine Safety Office Portland. They found no hull breach or leakage.

Petroleum products are a common cargo on the Columbia River. They are moved upstream from Portland to customers as far away as Clarkston and Lewiston, Idaho. Grain and wood products are common on downriver cargoes, along with ocean-going containers of products such as french fries.

The Dalles Dam is on the Columbia River about 75 miles east of Vancouver.

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