Ship boat

Dredger seeks to free stranded freighter in Chesapeake Bay

The US Coast Guard said dredging began freeing a cargo ship stranded in the Chesapeake Bay for more than a week

BALTIMORE — Dredging has begun freeing a cargo ship that has been stranded in the Chesapeake Bay for more than a week, the U.S. Coast Guard said Monday.

A salvage company began dredging around the 1,095-foot (334-meter) Ever Forward on Sunday and work is expected to continue throughout the week, said Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Breanna Centeno. , in an email. The stranded vessel is stable, poses no pollution threat and does not impact Port of Baltimore operations, Centano said.

State and federal agencies issued all permits, tweeted Maryland Port Authority Executive Director William P. Doyle. Doyle said the dredged material will be used to help rebuild an island off the east coast, Poplar Island, which has suffered severe erosion.

The Ever Forward was heading from Baltimore Harbor to Norfolk, Va., on March 13 when it ran aground north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The vessel operated by Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine Corp. ran aground outside the shipping channel and officials said no injuries, damage or pollution were reported.

Evergreen said on Friday that a plan to refloat the Ever Forward is to dredge the bay’s muddy ground, release ballast to lighten the ship’s load, and use tugs and the ship’s main engine to free the vessel. .

The Coast Guard said officials have yet to determine what caused the Ever Forward to run aground. The ship does not block navigation in the channel, unlike last year’s high-profile Suez Canal grounding of its sister ship, the Ever Given, which disrupted the global supply chain for days. .