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Jan-09-2007 09:50printcomments

Removal of New Carissa Wreck from Oregon Coast Scheduled For 2008

The New Carissa ran aground on Feb. 4th, 1999, near Coos Bay.

The New Carissa wreck
Photo: Department of State Lands.

(SALEM) - The Oregon Department of State Lands announced Tuesday that removal of the wreckage of the New Carissa cargo ship likely will take place in spring and summer of 2008.

"Removing the wreckage from Oregon's pristine beach has been our objective since the day it ran aground, and I want to thank the Department of State Lands for its unrelenting efforts to make that happen," Governor Ted Kulongoski said.

"Oregon has sent a strong message to the world that we will protect our state's beautiful coastline."

Louise Solliday, DSL director, explained that due to ongoing negotiations with the ship-removal company, Titan Marine, and with the owners of the New Carissa, Green Atlas Shipping Company, removal of the wreck cannot occur in 2007 as originally planned.

"The window of opportunity to remove the wreck each year is very small," Solliday said, noting that because of weather and tide factors the removal must take place during the summer months.

"With less than six months in which to finalize the removal contract and process permits, time is not on our side to complete the work this year." In May 2006, the State Land Board approved a settlement with Green Atlas for the state to receive approximately $22.1 million to pay for removing the wreckage and to cover legal expenses.

The State Land Board and DSL oversee the area within three miles of the shore for public navigation, recreation, fisheries and commerce.

DSL staff has begun working with state and federal agencies and Titan Marine to work out the details of the numerous permits required to complete the wreck's removal.

The New Carissa ran aground on Feb. 4th, 1999, near Coos Bay.

Despite efforts to remove the vessel, portions of the bulk cargo ship remain on the Oregon shore.

After lengthy negotiations during 2001 and 2002 to complete the removal of the remaining vessel, the Department of State Lands sued Green Atlas, the owner of the ship, to have the ship removed.

In November 2002, DSL received a favorable jury verdict against Green Atlas after a lengthy trial.

The judgment required payment of $25 million to enable the state to remove the stern section that remains on the beach.

A portion of the judgment will offset attorney fees and other fees associated with the cost of the trial.

In September 2006, DSL received approval from the Legislative Emergency Board to expend $18 million of the $22.1 million settlement monies for the removal of the New Carissa, and to use the remaining funds to cover legal costs incurred by the state.

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Henry Ruark January 12, 2007 1:14 pm (Pacific time)

That might be on true "free market" --but never forget corporate control and contract-access as consequence. Must get some return for all those "contributions" !!

James Y. January 10, 2007 8:52 am (Pacific time)

I can't believe we are still trying to get rid of this thing. Just give some of the local tweekers a few cutting torches and it'll be gone to the scrap yard in a day!

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