Cargo ship stuck in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay presenting Coast Guard ‘logistical challenge’

Source: abcNews; The NY Times; Bloomberg; The Guardian
Date: 15th March 2022

A loaded 1,095-foot cargo ship remained stuck Tuesday morning in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, presenting Coast Guard officials with what they described as a “logistical challenge” to free the vessel without polluting the environment.

The container vessel, named Ever Forward, ran aground Sunday night after leaving Baltimore, a spokesman for the Coast Guard’s Mid-Atlantic district said.

The ship is stuck in about 23-feet of water but is not blocking traffic in the bay’s deep-water channel.

“It’s a pretty big logistical challenge,” Coast Guard said about freeing the ship.

A Coast Guard environmental team boarded the ship to make an assessment of its condition and determine how to safely get it towed off what is believed to be a sandbar without polluting the water or causing harm to the crew.

“We’re making sure all boxes are checked,” said the Coast Guard, adding that a timeline has not yet been established on when an attempt to free the vessel will be made.

Coast Guard said no one was injured and no pollution has been detected as a result of the mishap.

The Coast Guard was notified of the incident around 9 p.m. Sunday. The vessel was headed to Norfolk, Virginia.

Coast Guard officials said the ship was apparently traveling outside the deep-water channel when it got hung up.

The ship is believed to be owned by Evergreen Marine Corp., noting the company’s name on the side of the vessel. Evergreen Marine, based in Taiwan, is also the owner of a cargo ship Ever Given, which got stuck in Egypt’s Suez Canal in March 2021, blocking the world-famous waterway for six days and causing massive delays in global shipping.

Evergreen Marine Corp. confirmed that it owns the ship and said in a statement, “Evergreen is arranging for divers to conduct underwater inspections to confirm any damage to the vessel, and is coordinating with all the concerned parties to refloat the ship as soon as possible. The incident did not block the navigation channel or disrupt traffic entering or leaving the port. The cause of the incident is under investigation by the competent authority.”

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