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Tidewater grain barge stuck in Columbia River

The barge and one smaller boat were reportedly in need of assistance Thursday morning on the Columbia River.

FAIRVIEW, Oregon — A grain barge from marine shipping company Tidewater got stuck in the sand off of McGuire Island in the Columbia River on Thursday morning. McGuire Island is located between Government Island and Chinook Landing on the Oregon side of the river in Fairview.

Tidewater's Sundial tug ran aground at about 3:20 a.m. after being pushed by heavy winds, according to a press release from the company around noon on Thursday. 

The tug was towing three loaded grain barges and one empty barge. The lead barge in the tow sustained hull damage but is stable, Tidewater said. No injuries were reported and there is no threat of pollution.

Credit: KGW

The U.S. Coast Guard was notified and is on scene, the company said. Tidewater maintenance staff are at the site to assess damage and another Tidewater tug, the Rebel, is assisting.

In a separate nearby incident, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Communications Coordinator Christina Kempster said marine deputies and a Gresham Fire boat responded to a small boat with people aboard that had hit pilings near Chinook Landing Thursday morning.

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The person on board the boat was not the person who called in the incident, she said, and refused to leave and told police they did not want assistance. The boat was not taking on water and there was no need for medical assistance, she said, so deputies left the scene.

The sheriff's office is aware of the stuck barge, she added, but is only going to monitor the situation because there is no life safety issue and the sheriff's office does not have the necessary equipment to assist.

"To our knowledge, the barge company is coordinating a private tow," she wrote in an email.

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