Coast Guard Dredging in Hopes of Freeing Cargo Ship Stuck in Chesapeake Bay

by Taylor Cunningham
PASADENA, MARYLAND - MARCH 16: In an aerial view, the Ever Forward container ship is shown in the Chesapeake Bay after it ran aground near Baltimore March 16, 2022 in Pasadena, Maryland. The container ship is operated by the Evergreen Marine Corporation, a transportation company that also owns the Ever Given cargo ship that blocked the Suez Canal last year. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

After being stuck in the Chesapeake Bay for over a week, the U.S. Coast Guard is helping to move the Ever Forward cargo ship. On Sunday, a salvage company began dredging around the 1,095-foot vessel. And while efforts are already well underway, dredging will likely continue throughout the rest of the week.

At a Glance

  • The U.S. Coast Guard is working to free the Ever Forward Cargo Ship stuck in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • The Vessel ran aground earlier this month as it was making a trip to Virginia.
  • Evergreen officials asked for help dredging the muddy bay floor so tugboats could pull it to deeper water.
  • The ship is not damaged, nor is it blocking shipping operations.
  • The Ever Forward is a sister vessel of the Evergreen ship that blocked the Suez Canal for a week last March.

Dredging Underway Around the Ever Forward Cargo Ship Stuck in the Chesapeake Bay

Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Breanna Centeno announced the plan via email on Monday. Ever Forward became grounded on March 13th as it was on its way to the Port of Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia. The cargo ship is operated by Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine Corp.

According to the Coast Guard, no one on the Ever Forward has reported any injuries. The vessel also isn’t damaged, causing pollution, or interfering with port operations.

On Friday, Evergreen said that the only way to get the cargo out of Chesapeake Bay would be to dredge the muddy seafloor. Because doing so would lighten the ship and make it possible for tugboats and the main engine to free the boat.

State and federal agencies quickly issued all permits necessary to start the process, according to a Tweet by Maryland Port Administration Executive Director William P. Doyle. And interestingly, the state will use all of the dredged soil to help rebuild Poplar Island, which has seen severe erosion issues.

No one knows how the cargo ship ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay. But it is currently sitting in water that is around 25 feet deep and out of the way of the channel.

On March 23rd of last year, the Evergreen sister ship Ever Given had worse luck when it blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week. The high-profile incident ended up disrupting the global supply chain. And as a result, the ship remained docked for another 100 days as Egyptian courts investigated the situation.

Egypt also resorted to a week’s worth of dredging to free the Ever Given.