The U.S. Coast Guard responded to a 739-foot cargo ship aground in the Columbia River just north of the Astoria Northern Anchorage in Astoria, Tuesday. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River learned that the Panamanian-flagged motor vessel Mokpo Star ran aground after the crew attempted to adjust their position in the river using their anchors without proper authorization at approximately 4:30 p.m.
Sector Columbia River personnel boarded the vessel along with a Columbia River Bar Pilot to investigate the cause of the grounding, potential pollution and how much fuel the vessel contained. The Coast Guard also ordered the vessel to hire a tug to be on immediate standby and to activate its required vessel response plan.
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, Wash., at the time of the grounding. The vessel contains no cargo and is estimated to hold approximately 532,000 gallons of diesel fuel oil.