Five weeks later, the container ship was released in Chesapeake

It took five weeks and three attempts, but around 7 a.m. Sunday, Ever Forward, a 1,095-foot container ship operated by the same company whose ship blocked the Suez Canal last year, was finally released in Chesapeake Bay.

Loaded with nearly 5,000 containers, Ever Forward was on his way to Norfolk, Virginia, from Baltimore when, according to the United States Coast Guard, he got stuck in the bay near the Craighill Canal on March 13.

“Initial reports did not show any injuries, pollution or damage to the ship as a result of the grounding,” the agency said in a statement at the time. The ship, which ran aground about 20 miles southeast of Baltimore, did not obstruct the canal, he added.

More than two weeks later, after a week of dredging under the ship, the Coast Guard, along with the Maryland Environment Department and Evergreen Marine Corp., which owns the ship, made their first attempt to get it back on board. Their efforts were unsuccessful.

They tried again the next day, but the ship did not move.

“Rescue experts have determined that they will not be able to overcome the ground forces of Ever Forward in a loaded state,” a statement from the Coast Guard said Sunday.

On April 4, authorities announced a new plan: they will continue to dredge the sludge to a depth of 43 feet and at the same time begin unloading Ever Forward containers in barges that will transport them back to Baltimore.

Once the ship’s cargo was relieved, tugs and tow barges would try to resurface as authorities continued to monitor for contamination. A naval architect and rescue captain will remotely monitor the ship’s stability.

This new strategy will take about two weeks, the Coast Guard said, adding that it offers “the best chance of a successful transfer of the Ever Forward.”

Early Sunday, an attempt to rebuild the ship was finally successful, a third-class senior officer, Briana Senteno, a spokesman for the Coast Guard, said by telephone.

In a statement, the agency said it had removed 500 containers from the ship and removed more than 200,000 cubic yards of material from the mouth of the estuary, which will be used to compensate for erosion on Poplar Island, three miles of land in Chesapeake Bay.

Grounding the ship was a “rare occurrence,” said Captain David O’Connell, commander of the Coast Guard region of Maryland’s National Capital. “The enormity and complexity of this response was historic,” he added.

The Coast Guard will continue to investigate how the ship got stuck, said NCO Senteno, adding that there are many possible reasons for the ship to get stuck.

Ever Forward sank about a year after Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships, was displaced by the Suez Canal six days after it ran aground.

Ever Given, which is nearly a quarter of a mile long, blocked on March 23, 2021, blocking a channel believed to serve about 10 percent of global commercial maritime traffic.

By the time the ship was displaced, 367 ships were supported and waiting to cross the canal. The incident was catastrophic for the shipping industry, freezing nearly $ 10 billion in trade a day.

In a statement, William Doyle, executive director of the Port of Maryland administration, described the task of releasing Ever Forward as an “exceptional team effort” that was helped, he said, by the “rising tide of Easter in Chesapeake Bay”. ”

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