BALTIMORE (AP) — Dredging has begun to free a cargo ship that had been stranded in Chesapeake Bay for more than a week, the US Coast Guard said Monday.
A salvage company began dredging around 1,095 feet (334 meters) of Ever Forward on Sunday, and work is expected to continue through the week, Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Breanna Centeno said in an email. The grounded vessel is stable, poses no threat to pollution and will not affect the operations of the Port of Baltimore, Centano said.
State and federal agencies have issued all permits, William P. Doyle, executive director of Maryland Port Administration tweeted. Doyle said dredged material will be used to help rebuild Poplar Island, an island off the east coast that has suffered severe erosion.
The Ever Forward was en route from Baltimore Harbor to Norfolk, Virginia, on March 13 when it ran aground north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the US Coast Guard said. The ship of Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine Corp. stranded outside the fairway and officials have said there are no reports of injuries, damage or contamination.
Evergreen said Friday that a plan to refloat the Ever Forward would involve dredging the muddy bottom of the bay, releasing ballast to lighten the cargo and using tugboats and the ship’s main engine to move the ship. to free.
The Coast Guard has said officials have not yet determined what caused the Ever Forward to run aground. The ship does not block navigation in the canal, unlike last year’s striking grounding in the Suez Canal of its sister ship, the Ever Given, which disrupted the global supply chain for days.