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Fuel removal scheduled for capsized historic ferry in Astoria

The U.S. Coast Guard and other partner organizations are scheduled to remove fuel and other pollution threats from the sinking ferry.

ASTORIA, Ore. — Oil cleanup from the historic Columbia River Ferry, Tourist No. 2, that capsized on July 28 at a dock in Astoria is scheduled for Thursday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

"We are working closely with our local partners to remove any potential contaminants from the vessel," said Coast Guard Capt. Justin Noggle. "We are committed to ensuring the safety of our first responders and protection of the environment."

The Global Diving and Salvage responded to the report of the sunken ferry by subcontracting US Ecology, placing a temporary floating barrier to help contain an oil spill and minimize harm to the environment.

The Tourist No. 2 was a historic Astoria ferry that was brought back to the dock in 2016 in hopes of being restored and becoming a tourist attraction. Built in the 1920s, the ferry carried people and cars across the Columbia River up until 1966 when the Astoria Bridge was built.

Earlier this week, the Coast Guard said it was working with Global to raise the sinking ferry and safely remove approximately 500 gallons of oil. Global brought in a crane to lift the boat, but was unable to get close enough to due to numerous wood pilings in the area.

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According to Mayor Bruce Jones, Tourist No. 2 was docked illegally on Department of State Lands land, and the owner was cited for trespass and other civil penalties. 

The Coast Guard is working with the owner and local and state agencies to figure out the final arrangement of the ferry once the pollution threats are cleaned up.

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