29 April 2011

News Release: Crews complete work on Davy Crockett COFFERDAM

PORTLAND, Ore. - The barge Davy Crockett sits enclosed by a cofferdam in the Columbia River near Camas, Wash., April 18, 2011. The cofferdam will contain pollutants while work crews dismantle the barge and remove it from the river. Photo provided by Davy Crockett Response Unified Command.
Work crews completed installation of an 850-foot metal sheet-pile cofferdam around the barge Davy Crockett Monday.

The cofferdam includes an impermeable liner, which will trap any oil, tar balls and other pollutants in the enclosure while crews dismantle the vessel.

“Installation of the sheet pile barrier and an impermeable liner around the Davy Crockett is a significant step in controlling the environmental threats from this broken vessel,” said Coast Guard Capt. Daniel LeBlanc. “It will allow contractors to begin the process of carefully cutting the vessel into pieces, cleaning and removing the pieces from inside a protective cofferdam.”

The Davy Crockett Response Unified Command plans to begin the vessel’s destruction Thursday. Workers will separate the 229-foot stern section from the rest of the vessel first. This cut will take place underwater. After the cut, the stern will be refloated, which involves pumping off several hundred thousand gallons of ballast water.

Until then, crews will stage equipment and ensure the cofferdam is functioning according to plan.


The Washington Department Ecology received reports of oil sheen on the Columbia River near Vancouver, Wash., Jan. 27, 2011, and traced it 11 miles upstream to the 431-foot flat-deck barge Davy Crockett. Reports of sheen were reported as far as 15 miles downstream.

The vessel was partially sunk near the north shore between Vancouver and Camas, Wash., four miles upstream of the I-205 Bridge. The Davy Crockett had begun leaking oil due to improper and unpermitted salvage operations.

Response efforts began immediately to contain oil and stabilize the vessel. The Coast Guard, Washington Department of Ecology and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality are jointly managing the response and salvage effort using the National Incident Management System. 

In mid-February Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp authorized Coast Guard Sector Columbia River to remove and destroy the barge Davy Crockett.  In his authorization memo, Adm. Papp stated that “destruction of this vessel is appropriate to mitigate the threat of continued discharge of oil, oil water mixtures and hazardous substances into the waterway.”  


Work crews successfully separated the stern from the mid-section of the Davy Crockett Friday.

The on-site water filtration system that will treat the ballast water and oily water collected from tanks has been successfully tested. Equipment is being mobilized so the deballasting operation can begin later in the week. The treated water will be stored in a barge with large capacity tanks and ultimately disposed of at a local wastewater treatment plant.


Date of Incident: Response began January 27, 2011
Location: North bank of the Columbia River near Camas, Washington
Product/Quantity: Lube, bunker and diesel oil; total quantity unknown.
Cause: Damaged derelict vessel.
Funding for response: Federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund

Source: Department of Ecology. State of Washington.  April 2011

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