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Wednesday, May 31, 2023
May 31, 2023

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Abandoned former Coast Guard sub chaser sinks in Columbia River

The Columbian

An abandoned ship moored off Portland’s Hayden Island in the Columbia River, near the Interstate 5 Bridge, sank Sunday evening, according to The Columbian’s news partner KATU-TV.

The former Coast Guard cutter, known as the Alert, was one of two old military vessels — the other is the Sakarissa, a seagoing tug that served in the Pacific during World War II — moored there.

According to Columbian archives, the Alert was commissioned in 1926 to patrol for illegal alcohol smugglers on the West Coast from San Diego to Alaska and the Bering Sea. It became a sub chaser in World War II.

It hadn’t been used for some time. The nonprofit Columbia Watershed Environmental Advocates planned to restore it, but when the founder of the group died, the group was waived of responsibility for it, the U.S. Coast Guard told KATU.

State and local agencies are working on a removal plan for the sunken ship, but the cost will exceed $1 million, KATU reports.

The Coast Guard said it removed all potential pollution hazards and that the vessel isn’t posing a risk to river navigation, though it will be monitored.