Unauthorized Maneuver Leads to Columbia River Cargo Ship Grounding

MV Mokpo Star (c) MarineTraffic.com/Michael R. Thom
MV Mokpo Star (c) MarineTraffic.com/Michael R. Thom

A 739-foot cargo ship ran aground Tuesday in the Columbia River while attempting an unauthorized maneuver to adjust their position in the river, the U.S. Coast Guard says.

Coast Guard responded to reports that the Panamanian-flagged MV Mokpo Star ran aground at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Columbia River just north of the Astoria Northern Anchorage in Astoria.

Sector Columbia River personnel boarded the vessel along with a Columbia River Bar Pilot to investigate the grounding and later learned that the crew had attempted to adjust their position in the river using their anchors without proper authorization.

Mokpo Star floated free with the incoming tide at approximately 10:50 p.m., Tuesday, and was relocated to a safe anchorage with the assistance of a Columbia River Bar Pilot. There have been no reports of pollution.

The Coast Guard has ordered the vessel to remain in the anchorage until an inspection has been conducted to ensure there is no damage to the vessel’s hull.

The vessel was at Astoria anchorage awaiting orders to head upriver to Kalama, Washington, at the time of the grounding.

The vessel contains no cargo and is estimated to hold approximately 532,000 gallons of diesel fuel oil.