PORTLAND, Ore. — Two ships that have been abandoned in the Columbia River for more than a decade are finally being removed, according to the Coast Guard.
The 100-foot military tug Sakarissa has already been removed and the 125-foot former Coast Guard cutter Alert is up next.
The Alert should be removed within the next week. Captain Scott Jackson with the Coast Guard said the lift should start on Saturday.
"The plans are to lift that out of the water, inspect the hull, get that towed to Diversified Marine or get a floating dry dock to move it over there," Jackson said.
The two ships first arrived in Portland in 2006. After sitting off Hayden Island for more than a decade, both ships sunk last year.
Officials have removed thousands of gallons of deiseal and oily waste throughout the process. The Oregon Department of State Lands (ODOSL) is also working with the Coast Guard.
People were living on the ships, officials said.
"We know actually from the Sakarissa when it had been raised and when the Coast Guard raises it, they patch holes so they can float it and tow it," said Bill Ryan with ODOSL. "That one actually sank because someone actually salvaging on the vessel cut through a pipe."
Ryan said he's not sure why the Alert sank, but both ships sank before any coordinated effort was put together to tow them away.
"Right now we're sitting at about 1.25 million dollars for the cleanup effort part of it and getting it to Diversified Marine," Jackson said.