Wreck Removal – Pollution Mitigation / Davy Crockett,

Customer: United States Coast Guard & Unified Command consisting of both Washington & Oregon Department of Ecology

Ballard Marine Construction was contracted by the USCG and other state agencies for the emergency mitigation of the WWII Liberty Ship Davy Crockett from the Columbia River.    The immediate concern was to prevent the more than 32,000 gallons of bunker oil from escaping into the river from the various double-bottom tanks and other holds containing the decades old bunker fuel harboring the sticky black substance.

During the 211-day operation, crews  removed 4.45 million pounds of steel, and another 824,822 pounds of debris, including wire, bricks and oiled sorbent materials and 1.6 million gallons of oil and or otherwise contaminated water. All recovered materials were taken off-site for proper disposal.

The operation involved stabilizing the vessel and containment of the pollution threat. Local facilities were unavailable for deconstruction mandating a cofferdam containment to be  erected and the former great war ship taken apart in in place by teams of commercial divers and very qualified Ballard Salvage Masters.

Snow, near record river levels and high river currents due to abnormally heavy spring runoff and often zero visibility created a challenging environment for the many commercial divers involved in the operation. Ballard is very pleased with the company’s stellar safety record upon completion of the very challenging and dangerous project. The estimated federal cost for the response is approximately $20 million. The response was funded by monies from the National Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.