A year after the Suez blockade, another evergreen ship is stuck in the Chesapeake

A container ship operated by the same company whose ship blocked the Suez Canal last year and held billions of dollars in world trade for nearly a week has been stuck in the Chesapeake Bay since Sunday night, according to Maryland officials.

The 1,095-foot Ever Forward was en route from Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia, when she ran aground in the bay near the Craighill Channel, said Petty Officer Third Class Breanna Centeno, a US Coast Guard spokeswoman.

A salvage team, naval architects and divers worked to extricate the ship, William P. Doyle, executive director of the Maryland Port Administration, said in a statement. The Coast Guard is leading the salvage effort, he said.

There were no injuries and no “environmental spills,” Mr Doyle said. Petty Officer Centeno said the ship was carrying no hazardous materials.

The ship became almost a year after the Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships, ran aground in the Suez Canal on March 23, 2021, blocking a canal believed to carry about 10 percent of the world’s commercial maritime traffic.

It took six days to free the ship, and by then 367 ships were waiting to pass through the canal, which serves as a vital canal linking the factories of Asia with wealthy customers in Europe, as well as a main pipeline for oil. The episode was a disaster for the shipping industry, congesting global shipping and freezing nearly $10 billion a day in trade.

The mishap with the Ever Forward, which, like the Ever Given, was owned by the Evergreen Marine Corp. operated appeared to be far less catastrophic, according to Maryland authorities.

“The ship’s grounding has not prevented other ships from entering or leaving the Port of Baltimore,” said Mr. Doyle. “Business and trade-related activities at the Port of Baltimore continue as usual.”

Still, the ship ran aground at a time when global supply chains continue to be in turmoil due to the coronavirus pandemic. The timing also prompted a new round of jokes online gleefully gloating over the Ever Given’s troubles last year.

“March is the month that International Evergreen Marine Corp’s container ship runs aground,” wrote one Twitter user. “What are you doing to celebrate?”

Evergreen Marine Corp. did not immediately respond to a message asking for comment.

The Ever Forward alert was received around 9 p.m. Sunday, Petty Officer Centeno said. The ship departed from Baltimore that day and was scheduled to arrive in Virginia on Thursday.

The Coast Guard said it did not determine how the Ever Forward got stuck.

“As soon as the ship is afloat again,” said Petty Officer Centeno, “we will investigate the cause.”

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