A refloating attempt of the grounded container ship Ever Forward in Chesapeake Bay failed yesterday. After dredging around the vessel for about a week and a half, five tugs tried to pull the vessel free during high tide, but the vessel didn’t budge.

CBS Baltimore reports wind had been pushing water out of the area creating a lower tide. So far, about 64,000 cubic metres of mud have been removed from around the vessel, reports the American news channel.

Also read: Five tugs will try to refloat Ever Forward on 29 March

Supposedly, another attempt will take place today, 30 March, reports a CBS Baltimore reporter, which is sooner than initially planned. Port of Baltimore Director William Doyle had said a second attempt would be scheduled for 3 or 4 April after which the US Coast Guard also said a second attempt would take place on Sunday.

In the meantime, Evergreen Line already announced dredging would continue should the refoating attempt be unsuccessful. If dredging, ballasting and the tugs prove to be insufficient to free the vessel, the US Coast Guard says it might move to unloading containers to lighten the vessel.

Ever Forward

The Hong-Kong flagged container ship operated by Evergreen, reported to be carrying general cargo, departed Baltimore on Sunday 13 March and was en route to Norfolk, Virginia, when it grounded in Chesapeake Bay. The Ever Forward was built in 2020 and is 334 metres long and 48 metres wide. The vessel is not blocking shipping traffic.

Evergreen has hired the Smit-Donjon to refloat the grounded container ship. Donjon-Smit is a joint venture of Donjon Marine Co. and Smit Salvage. The latter (with parent company Boskalis) was also responsible for refloating the Ever Given, which ran aground in the Suez Canal in March 2021 and blocked the Canal for almost a week.

Also read: Smit-Donjon begins salvage of container ship Ever Forward

Picture (top) by US Coast Guard.