At approximately 10:00 p.m., Tidewater Barge Lines reported to the Coast Guard than an unmanned 285-foot grain barge was missing from their Hayden Island facility.
Crewmembers of the tug LORI B located the barge floating near the navigation channel and towed it back to Tidewater’s facility.
Upon inspection of the barge’s mooring lines, a Tidewater Barge Lines employee indicated that the mooring cable for the barge was not cut, and the ratchets used to hold it in place appeared to have been intentionally loosened. Failure to secure a barge of this size on the Columbia River could have led to a major incident. The Coast Guard asks persons with information relating to the incident to contact the Coast Guard Columbia River Command Center at 503-861-6211.