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Photo: Joanne Rideout 2008.

Ship horns on the Columbia

On Thursday's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout talks about ship horns on the Columbia on New Year's and how this hoped-for annual event happens, or doesn't .

Photo: Big seas on the Columbia River Bar. Photo: Columbia River Bar Pilots.

Podcasts are usually posted the same morning they air on Coast Community Radio in Astoria, Oregon.

Week of 1/15-1/18/15
  • Monday: On Monday's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout shares the words of Gordon Huggins, the sole survivor of the 1961 Coast Guard tragedy involving the Triumph motor lifeboat on the Columbia River Bar. Huggins spoke at a Coast Guard ceremony Saturday at Cape Disappointment.
  • Tuesday: On Tuesday's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout shares more from the Coast Guard ceremony last Saturday at Cape Disappointment. We'll hear Rear Adm. Daniel Neptun talk about survivor guilt, which can haunt the people who made it through when others didn't.
  • Wednesday: No podcast today. Family medical issue.
  • Thursday: On Thursday's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout talks about ship horns on the Columbia on New Year's and how this hoped-for annual event happens, or doesn't . (Podcast will post after show airs on the radio.)
Week of 1/8-1/12/15
  • Monday: No Podcast today. Technical issues at Coast Community Radio.
  • Tuesday: On Monday's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout talks about a ship collision in the waters off China, involving a ship that picked up wheat in Vancouver on the Columbia in December.
  • Wednesday: On Wednesday's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout shares a story about the Clatsop Community College MERTS program, and new federal funding in 2018 for maritime training.
  • Thursday: No podcast today. Technical issues at Coast Community Radio.
  • Friday: On today's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout commemorates a Coast Guard tragedy that happened 57 years ago today: the tragic loss of crew members of the Triumph motor lifeboat and fishermen during a rescue on the Columbia River Bar.
Week of 1/1-1/5/18
  • Monday: New Year's Day Holiday
  • Tuesday: On Tuesday's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout talks about waves, part of a series this week on waves, how they come to be, and the effects they have on our coastal environment.
  • Wednesday: On Weduesday's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout talks more about waves, and how they go from a small ripple to a large swell.
  • Thursday: On Thursday's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout talks about swells and the Beaufort Wind Scale.
  • Friday: On Friday's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout talks about the Beaufort Wind Scale and how it might be useful right now, under today's gale force conditions at sea.

On Tuesday's Ship Report, Joanne Rideout ta
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Columbia River Ship Traffic
Thursday, 1/18/19

Times are approximate and subject to change.
Schedules posted weekdays, excluding major holidays.


  • Mount Rainier Vancouver BC to Longview Anchorage (Weather Permitting)

  • Olympos South Korea to Astoria Anchorage (Weather Permitting)

  • Metora China to Astoria Anchorage (Weather Permitting)

  • Asahi Maru Offshore to Vancouver Anchorage (Weather Permitting)

  • Sea Marathon South Korea to Astoria Anchorage (Weather Permitting)

  • W Pacific China to Astoria Anchorage (Weather Permitting)

  • Global Effort Japan to Kalama Anchorage (Weather Permitting)

  • Sassy Sofia South Korea to Vancouver Hyundais (Weather Permitting)

  • Ernst Oldendorff Offshore to Astoria Anchorage (Weather Permitting)

  • Emma Bulker Vancouver BC to Astoria Anchorage (Weather Permitting)


  • Ajax to Kalama Corn, Soy or Wheat (Dep~6:30am/Kal~11:30am)

  • Ever Best Awaiting Orders

  • Consolidator Awaiting Orders

  • Emma Bulker to Kalama Wheat (Dep~10pm/Kal~3am Fri)


  • Medi Zuoz Dep Portland Soda Ash (Weather Permitting)

  • Erietta Dep Portland Wheat (Weather Permitting)

  • Milau Bulker Dep Longview Logs (Weather Permitting)

  • Sari Indah Dep Kalama Wheat (Weather Permitting)

  • Spring Progress Dep Vancover (Weather Permitting)

  • Xing Zun Hai Dep Vancouver (Weather Permitting)

  • Edgar Oldendorff Dep Longview Petcoke (Weather Permitting)

  • Atlantic Brave Dep Portland Wheat (Weather Permitting)

  • Red Rose Dep Portland (Weather Permitting)

  • Neutrino Dep Vancouver (Weather Permitting)

  • Mynika Dep Longview Soda Ash (Weather Permitting)


Information about
Pacific Northwest coast bar closures:

Also on Facebook and Twitter: USCG Pacific Northwest


When's High Tide where you are? Find Tidal info at


pproximate Vessel Travel Times:
(Times vary according to tidal conditions, current, weather,
and individual vessel horsepower)
  • Portland/Vancouver -Astoria: 6-8 hours
  • Kalama -Astoria: 5 hours
  • Longview -Astoria: 3.5 hours
  • Columbia River Bar - Astoria: 1.5 hours

Tide Notes:
  • Tide times are often listed in 24 hour time - for times after noon, subtract 1200 from the time to get regular clock time. Ex: 1300 hrs - 1200 = 1:00 pm)
  • Also, tides are referenced to Mean Lower Low Water, a reference point for depth on many nautical charts. MLLW is the average of the lower of the two low tides in a day, over a 19-year cycle. Minus tides are lower than MLLW.
  • If you're right on the coast, subtract an hour from these times. Upriver, highs and lows happen later. For instance, in Knappa, add an hour. In Clatskanie, add 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Ship Horn Signals
Commonly Heard off Astoria:
  • One prolonged blast every two minutes or less: vessel operating in fog.

  • Five consecutive horn blasts:  warning signal that means literally "I do not know your intention." This generally means another vessel is in the way of a ship in the channel, and is being asked to move before they collide.

  • Three short blasts: Vessel going in reverse

  • One long blast followed by three short: signal for the change of pilots. Soon after this signal, you'll see the pilot launch Arrow II head out to a passing ship, to facilitate the transfer of bar and river pilots.
  • Note: "Pilot transfer" is when a pilot disembarks or boards a ship. Ships generally must by law have a river or bar pilot on board when they are on the Columbia or Willamette Rivers. The bar and river pilots have separate pilotage grounds defined by the Oregon Legislature.

Revelers gather every December in Ilwaco, Wash.,
for the ceremonial lighting of the World's Tallest Crab Pot
Christmas Tree. Photo: Dirk Sweringen 2008.

The R/V Marcus G. Langseth in a gale
                              off Tonga
The R/V Marcus G. Langseth takes seas over the rail in a gale off
Tonga in the South Pacific. Photo: Ted Koczynski

The Marcus G. Langseth is a seismic research vessel owned by the
National Science Foundation and operated by Columbia University.
She spent several months in Astoria in the fall of both 2008 and 2009,
at the Port of Astoria. In early December, she headed to the shipyard
in Portland for some needed maintenance and repairs.
She headed back out to sea in early 2010.

Bulletin Board:

Gorgeous photography of the Astoria waterfront and estuary by
Michael Mathers.
He'll change the way you see the River.

Check out the Ship Report on
Oregon Public Broadcasting's
Oregon Field Guide
Click here to watch!

Hear the Coast Community Radio interview with author Jonathan White. Graham Nystrom interviews White about his new book, Tides. Click here.

Find out more about local sailing opportunities in Astoria at:

Tsunami inundation maps for the Oregon Coast

Tsunami inundation maps for the Washington Coast


The Ship Report will have a new, updated website soon. Construction underway! Please stay tuned.


The USCG is seeking the public's help to find a person who has made 22 false distress calls to the Coast Guard from the lower Columbia area since April. If you have any leads, please call the U.S. Coast Guard at 503-338-9021.

Millennium Bulk Terminal Project in Longview.

Where you can submit Public Comment on various environmental issues

Ship's Store
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  • Fisher Poets CD - Recorded live in 2006 at the 11th Annual Fisher Poets Gathering in Astoria, Ore. Sales benefit Coast Community Radio in Astoria.
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Ship Report
                                                  Creator and Producer
                                                  Joanne Rideout
Ship Report Producer Joanne Rideout
inside the research submersible Alvin.

The Ship Report
is a daily podcast about ship traffic from around the world, along with recorded interviews with mariners and other nautical folk about issues ranging from piracy to life at sea. Producer Joanne Rideout is a journalist and photographer who created The Ship Report in 2005. Since then Joanne and has been interviewing, writing and photographing the maritime world and its interesting people
as much as she possibly can.


Washington King Tide Photo Initiative

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald [video]

Video: Impressive Coast Guard Rescue of HMS Bounty crew

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See the film BOATLIFT, about how mariners came to the rescue in 9/11 NYC.

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Hooked for  the survival story of the "Man in the Fish Tote."

Patrick Dixon, Marine Photographer and Writer

Fisher Poets: In the Tote - Poems, Stories, Songs of the Sea

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New Year's Eve Ship Horns!

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