Teams complete cleanup of derelict ship near Camas

SS Davy Crockett is a former Liberty ship

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The World War II Liberty ship SS Davy Crockett suffered a significant structural failure this past week on the north shore of the Columbia River near Camas. Ballard Diving and Salvage hazardous response teams cleaned the ship of all imminent ecological threats, including oil and other industrial waste.

Ecological threats including oils and other industrial waste have been removed from a derelict Liberty ship located on the north shore of Columbia River near Camas.

The SS Davy Crockett, moored at the site for a number of years, suffered a significant structural failure during the past week and its owners were recently issued an administrative order by the United States Coast Guard to take cleanup action or face stiff monetary penalties.

According to a press release from Ballard Diving & Salvage, the Seattle based company was hired by the vessel’s owner to complete the cleanup. Trained salvage crews working on the ship included confined space teams and commercial dive teams, as well as remote underwater vehicles with sonar to locate and evaluate all sources of oil on and within the 442-foot vessel.

Eric Muller, director of sales and marketing for Ballard Diving & Salvage, declined on Monday to release the name of the ship’s owner.

According to the “American Merchant Marine at War,” organization, approximately 2,700 Liberty ships were built by the U.S. Maritime Commission during World War II, between September 1941 and September 1945. The mass-produced cargo ships were named after prominent Americans. Very few of them remain in operating condition today.

The SS Davy Crockett was constructed in 1942 in Houston, Texas, by the Houston Shipbuilding Corporation.

According to the press release, Ballard Diving and Salvage completed the recycling of two similar Liberty Ships — the SS Woodbridge Ferris and SS Mahlon Pitney — in 2010 in Tacoma.