The US Coast Guard and Maryland Department of the Environment are coordinating the refloating of container ship Ever Forward. The 11,850 TEU container vessel grounded in the Chesapeake Bay, near Craighill Channel, on Sunday, 13 March.
The vessel had left from Baltimore and was headed to Norfolk when it grounded. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region received the initial report at 9 p.m., Sunday, from the vessel. Initial reports have indicated no injuries, pollution, or damage to the vessel as a result of the grounding.
The US Coast Guard is currently assessing the situation to determine the best and safest means of refloating the vessel. Coast Guard watchstanders have issued a Safety Marine Information Broadcast to mariners in the area stating that a safety zone will be in place during salvage operations. Currently, the Ever Forward is not obstructing the navigational channel; however, vessels operating in the vicinity will be required to conduct one-way traffic and transit at a reduced speed.
The Ever Forward was built in 2020 and sails under the flag of Hong Kong. It is 334 metres long and 48 metres wide.
The grouning of another Evergreen container ship of course immediately brings to mind the Ever Given. This 20,000 TEU container ship became world famous in March 2021 when it grounded in the Suez Canal in a sandstorm. In collaboration with the Suez Canal Authority, a large group of experts from Boskalis and its subsidiary Smit Salvage succeeded in refloating the enormous vessel within a week during a spring tide and unblock the canal. This allowed the hundreds of queueing ships to continue their journey and averted a potential disaster for world trade (Lloyd’s List estimated the damage at USD 400 million per hour).
Pictures by the US Coast Guard.