A new attempt to remove 500 shipping containers from a stranded cargo ship in the Chesapeake Bay begins Saturday.
The 1,000-foot Ever Forward has been stuck in the Chesapeake Bay since March 13.
The latest move, which the US Coast Guard says is expected to take several days, comes after two failed attempts to get rid of the massive container ship.
Officials had initially hoped to use tugs and barges to refloat the cargo ship without having to remove the nearly 5,000 containers of dry cargo, but that proved impossible.
Now the plan is to remove the containers from both sides of the ship near Pasadena, Maryland, before loading them onto barges and transporting them to Seagirt Marine Terminal in Baltimore.
Once the ship is freed from the bottom of the bay, the US Coast Guard has told WTOP that it will likely be towed to Annapolis to have its seaworthiness checked before being allowed to set sail again.
The cargo ship, a sister ship to the Ever Given that blocked the Suez Canal for several days in 2021, ran aground in shallow waters in the Chesapeake Bay and became stuck on the bay’s muddy bottom while sailing from the port of Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia.
Unlike the Ever Given, which disrupted the international supply chain and attracted international media attention, the cargo ship in the bay does not impede navigation, and the shipping channel is open for one-way traffic.
A 500-yard “security zone” will be established around Ever Forward for the duration of the process.
The Coast Guard is still investigating what caused the ship to run aground.
The operator of the ship is the Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine Corp.
WTOP’s Jack Moore and Matt Small contributed to this report.
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