Bulk Carrier Spills Diesel in Oregon After Hitting Pier

Mike Schuler
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October 2, 2015

A Coast Guard marine science technician surveys damage to the MV Global Gold after it allided with a pier in the Port of Astoria, October 2, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard Photo


Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier spilled over 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel after alliding with a pier in Astoria, Oregon early Friday.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it was alerted at approximately 12:55 a.m. that the 565-foot Global Gold allided with Pier 1 in the Port of Astoria, causing a 4-foot by 8-inch gash in the port side of the hull towards the stern.

By 3:30 a.m., the Clean Rivers Cooperative was mobilized and deployed boom around the vessel and pier. The vessel’s crew also applied oil-absorbent pads to a small area of land affected by the spill at the end of the pier.

Once the leak was secured, the vessel’s engineer and Coast Guard crews determined that a maximum 1,100 gallons had spilled.

A unified command has been established and is composed of the U.S. Coast Guard, Oregon State Department of Environmental Quality and the Washington State Department of Ecology, as well as the responsible party.

A Coast Guard over-flight conducted by at 9 a.m. Friday confirmed that the spill was contained within the boom surrounding the vessel and pier.

“The quick response and notification of proper authorities by the crew of the M/V Global Gold prevented this spill from becoming a much more serious situation,” said Chief Petty Officer Brad Bennett, a pollution investigator with U.S. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. “The unified command was established to deploy a safe and timely response to mitigate environmental damage, and this is a collaborative process with the responsible party, both states and the federal government.”

The vessel was scheduled to load lumber in the Port of Astoria for the next few days, and the vessel will be detained at its current location until repairs can be made.

The cause of the allision and ensuing spill is under investigation.

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