Rescue plan planned for Ever Forward in Chesapeake Bay

The operator of a cargo ship that sank in the Gulf of Chesapeake has plans to re-float the stranded ship.

BALTIMORE – A cargo ship stranded in the Chesapeake Bay for several days is planned to be re-floated, the ship’s operator said Friday.

Salver Donjon Smith conducted an underwater inspection of the 1,095-foot (334-meter) Ever Forward and a rescue team could speed up the floating plan, but authorities must first approve it, Evergreen said in a statement Friday.

The plan includes releasing ballast to lighten the load, dredging the muddy floor of the bay around the ship, and creating space between the propeller and radar and the seabed, Evergreen said.

Rescuers are assembling all available local tugboats to join the operation. Once enough mud has been removed and the ship has been lightened, the team will work to re-float the ship at high tide using the power of the tugboat and the ship’s main engine, Evergreen said.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the Ever Forward was en route from the port of Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia, when it sank north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on Sunday night. The ship, operated by the Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine Corporation, went off the main navigation corridor, the Craigil Channel, and officials said there were no reports of injuries, damage or contamination.

The Coast Guard says officials have not yet determined what caused Ever Forward to land. It is not blocking any navigation, unlike its sister ship, the Ever Given, which caused worldwide supply-chain problems when it stopped traffic on the Suez Canal for a few days about a year ago.

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