Tugboats Help Free Grounded Carrierby Pat Forgey
Longview, WA, The Daily News, January 7, 2005
A 578-foot grain carrier that ran aground off Skamokawa Thursday night was refloated on the flood tide Friday morning, said U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Tad Drozdowski
The Global Challenger was heading up the Columbia River to the Port of Vancouver when it went aground on a sand bar near Pillar Rock in western Wahkiakum County.
It is not yet known why it went aground, Drozdowski said.
"It missed its turn going up river, other than that, our investigation is not complete," he said.
Freeing the vessel was a fairly simple process, said Robert Rich, operations manager for Shaver Transportation Co., which pulled the Global Challenger free.
The Portland-based tugs Deschutes, Vancouver, Cap' Evans and Columbia arrived on scene between 1 and 2 a.m. All participated in towing the Global Challenger free, he said.
"It grounded below high water, and the second tide that came in was substantially higher," he said.
The vessel was easy to pull free once high tide arrived at about 10:15 a.m., Rich said.
"It worked out pretty good," he said.
The Global Challenger then headed up river under its own power, but escorted by two of the Portland tugs.
The ship arrived in Longview in late afternoon, where it was expected to undergo an examination by marine surveyors to ensure it had not been damaged in the grounding and remained seaworthy.
There were no reports of any fuel spill, but units of Cowlitz Clean Sweep stood by to respond if they'd been called, Doug Best, response manager, said.
It is not clear where the ship was owned or registered, and its shipping agent, Transmarine Navigation Co. of Portland, refused to comment.
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