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Spill Cleanup From Sunken Vessel Near Longview Continues

Washington Department of Ecoology. An oil-containment boom and oil-absorbing pads are deployed around the Granby.

A spill cleanup crew remains on the scene Thursday near Longview where an old wooden boat sunk in a side channel of the Columbia River.

The 75-foot long work boat named the Granby sank at its mooring on Tuesday and the Department of Ecology reports there is still a visible oil sheen on the water today.

Agency spokeswoman Linda Kent says a dive team has pumped as much fuel off of the wreck as can be safely accessed. "The estimates of how much spilled are still at 50 to 100 gallons. That is not a final number by any means. The investigation on why the boat sank and that type of thing is still ongoing."

The Cowlitz County Health Department is concerned about the spill to the point that it is warning people and pets to stay out of the water in the area for the time being. The state Department of Ecology says it has received no reports of dead fish or oiled waterfowl to date.

The owner of the boat will be billed for the cleanup.

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.