Rescue Plan in Place for Cargo Ship Stuck in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay

by Victoria Santiago
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(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A rescue plan to save a cargo ship stuck in the Chesapeake Bay has been put into place. The ship, called the Ever Forward, has been stranded in the bay for days. According to the ship’s operator, this plan will refloat the ship. Underwater inspections of the 1,095-foot boat were conducted by Salvor Donjon Smit before the rescue plan was made. The plan is ready to be put into action, but it has to be approved by authorities first.

What We Know

  • The Ever Forward has been stuck in the Chesapeake Bay for days.
  • A rescue plan involves lightening the load and dredging the seafloor.
  • Multiple government agencies are taking part in the plan.
  • The ship is owned by Evergreen, which also owns the Ever Given cargo ship that got stuck in 2021.

Officials Aren’t Sure Why Cargo Ship Got Stuck In Chesapeake Bay

The Ever Forward cargo ship was on its way to Norfolk, VA from the Port of Baltimore. It ran aground last week just north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, according to the US Coast Guard. The ship went aground outside of the main navigation corridor, the Craighill Channel.

The ship is operated by Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine Corp. Evergreen also operated the infamous Ever Given cargo ship, which got stuck in the Suez Canal last year. Unlike its sister ship, the Ever Forward is not currently blocking any traffic in the bay.

Officials say that there were no reports of injuries, damage, or pollution due to the ship getting stuck. However, they can’t figure out why the ship ran aground. The Coast Guard is investigating what caused the cargo ship to get stuck. The Coast Guard is also partnering with at least four other government agencies “to ensure that the Ever Forward’s refloating plan maintains the safety of those on and around the ship as well as the safety of the marine environment,” according to Petty Officer 3rd Class Breanna Centeno.

The Rescue Plan Hasn’t Been Started Yet

The rescue plan for the Ever Forward hasn’t been started yet. It still has to be vetted by authorities. The plan is well-detailed, though.

There are multiple parts to this rescue plan to ensure that the boat can be refloated. Firstly, they’ll release ballast to lighten the load on the ship. Then, officials will dredge the bay’s muddy floor around the ship. They’ll make space between the propeller and rudder and the seabed, according to Evergreen.

ABC News reports that all available local tugboats are going to join the rescue plan. Once enough mud has been removed and the ship is lighter, the ship will be refloated at high tide. To do so, teams will be using all of the local tugboats and the ship’s main engine to refloat.

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