PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The U.S. Coast Guard is taking action regarding the sunken boats in the Columbia River.

In 2020, the Coast Guard was notified of the diesel fuel in the bilge of Sakarissa. They used the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which covers the costs associated with removing boats, to remove thousands of gallons of diesel fuel and oily waste that developed after motor vessels Alert and Sakarissa sank. The Coast Guard is currently using the same fund to remove and transport the vessels.

On Sept. 16, the Coast Guard dewatered and refloated the vessel Sakarissa. Later on Sept. 19, the Sakarissa was finally removed from the river, before being towed to Diversified Marine Inc. to offload the remaining oil waste.

“Abandoned derelict vessels can pose a risk to the environment, depending on what is aboard the vessel,” Coast Guard Petty Officer Travis McGee said. “They can also pose a hazard to navigation as well… the Coast Guard is involved with the refloating or the removal of these vessels and transportation to Diversify Marine because it was determined that was the best and safest way to remove the risks they pose to the environment.”

According to a KOIN 6 News report, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office estimated that both vessels held more than 8,500 gallons of diesel fuel and 100 gallons of lube oil in total.

The Coast Guard is also looking to remove the Alert vessel alert along with Sakarissa.

“We are in the process of determining the way that we’re going to lift it out of the water. We’re intending to have the Alert raised by the end of this month,” McGee said.

Both boats are privately-owned and have been in the Portland area since 2006, but they had been abandoned due to the original owner passing away. After Diversified Marine Inc. offloads the remaining waste, the vessels will be transferred to the Department of State Lands for disposal.

There are no confirmed plans to remove other vessels at this time.