Stuck for a month in the Chesapeake, Ever Forward to use full moon to free ship

By: Augusta Saraiva | Apr 15 2022 at 11:11 AM | Maritime   | Liner Shipping  

A month after its giant container ship ran aground near Baltimore, Evergreen Marine Corp. continues to dig for a solution.

After initial efforts to refloat the Hong Kong-flagged Ever Forward using tugs and dredgers failed, the salvage team led by the U.S. Coast Guard will try again to free the ship early next week, the Coast Guard said in an emailed statement. The crew is expected to take advantage of high tides triggered by this weekend’s full moon to carry out the operation.

The crew began removing containers on April 9 in an effort to lighten the vessel before the next attempt. As of Thursday morning, 233 of about 500 containers planned have been unloaded, the Coast Guard said. The vessel was carrying almost 5,000 containers when it got stuck, although it can handle as many as 12,000, it added.

The Ever Forward ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay after departing the Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal on March 13 and hasn’t moved since, according to mapping data compiled by Bloomberg. The rescue operation was launched on March 20.

The Coast Guard is still working on determining what caused the Ever Forward to run aground.

Another Evergreen vessel ran aground in the Suez Canal in March 2021, blocking traffic for six days and disrupting global shipping for months. The same company that freed the Ever Given last year has been now hired to refloat the Ever Forward.