Crews dredging near the container ship Ever Forward near Pasadena, Md., March 21, 2022.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez
BALTIMORE (AP) — Dredging has begun to extricate a cargo ship that has been stranded in the Chesapeake Bay for more than a week, the U.S. Coast Guard said Monday.
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A salvage company began dredging around the 334-meter-long Ever Forward on Sunday and work is expected to continue throughout the week, Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Breanna Centeno said in an email. The stranded vessel is stable, does not pose a pollution hazard and does not affect the operations of the Port of Baltimore, Centano said.
State and federal agencies have granted all permits, William P. Doyle, executive director of the Maryland Port Administration, tweeted. Doyle said dredged materials are being used to help rebuild an island off the east coast, Poplar Island, that has suffered severe erosion.
The Ever Forward was sailing from the Port of Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia on March 13 when she ran aground north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the US Coast Guard said. Developed by Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine Corp. The operated vessel ran aground outside the shipping channel, and officials said there were no reports of injuries, damage or pollution.
Evergreen said Friday that a plan to refloat the Ever Forward includes dredging the bay’s muddy bottom, deballasting to facilitate shiploading and using tugs and the ship’s main engine to extricate the ship.
The Coast Guard said officials have not yet determined why the Ever Forward ran aground. The ship is not blocking navigation in the canal, unlike the high-profile landing of its sister ship Ever Given in the Suez Canal last year that disrupted the global supply chain for days.