10 December 2022
After more than a week of dredging mud, crews made their first attempt to refloat the Ever Forward containership.
Ever Forward has been stuck in the mud of Chesapeake Bay since March 13. The operation to refloat the vessel started at about noon on Tuesday 29th of March. Note that it began, with five tugboats working to free the ship. Although they pushed and pulled for more than five hours, the vessel didn’t budge.
Crews have had to dig out 84,000 cubic yards of mud from around the vessel. The Department of the Environment said that’s about 27 barges worth of mud.
According to chat comments on a Wusa9.com live stream viewing of the operation; “they could have picked a better day to try this.”
Particularly, winds from the northwest were pushing water out of the bay, preventing the high tide considered necessary for success.
According to the US Coast Guard, there was “no indication of movement” after the day’s efforts.
The original plan, if the first attempt didn’t work, was to do; more dredging around the ship and try again to move it on April 3 or 4. The Coast Guard said yesterday though that the team will make a second attempt on Wednesday.
Evergreen noted that the weight of the cargo is a factor in the plan to refloat the ship. Hence, this potentially indicates that it may become necessary to remove containers from the ship to release her from grounding.
The vessel left the Port of Baltimore on Sunday night en route to Norfolk, Virginia. It was at this time that it ran aground outside the main shipping channel. Fortunately, the containership remains stuck but it is not blocking navigation.
Note that, the last time something like this happened was last year. A ship owned by the same company got stuck and blocked the Suez Canal in Egypt. Therefore, disrupting billions of dollars a day in global trade.