PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) –Two abandoned ships in the Columbia River, off Hayden Island, have been approved for removal.

The United States Coast Guard said the 125-foot Alert and the 100-foot Sakarissa are adjacent to the Interstate 5 Bridge and a mile upriver from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad bridge.

According to the Coast Guard, the ships have been discharging a sheen into the waterway due to hull deterioration and oil saturation inside the ships. Officials noted they are also a collision hazard for other vessels.

“Even though the Coast Guard oversaw the removal of thousands of gallons of diesel and oily water from these vessels in 2020, they still pose a risk,” said L.t. Lisa Siebert, the Incident Management Division Supervisor at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River – Detachment Portland. “We have worked closely with our State and local partners to develop an integrated plan to remove these vessels and protect the public and the environment.”

In early September, dive teams will determine the safest way to raise and transport the ships, officials said. The ships will then be transported to a facility to safely pump any remaining oil before the Oregon Department of State Lands will take custody for final disposal.

During the project, the area will be closed to public access.