3 Weeks Later, Container Ship Still Stuck in the Chesapeake

Officials now say they'll start taking hundreds of containers off the Ever Forward to break it loose
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2022 9:55 AM CDT
Updated Apr 6, 2022 8:01 AM CDT
Another Container Ship Stuck, This Time in the US
The container ship Ever Forward, which ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay off the coast near Pasadena, Md., is seen Monday.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Update: The Ever Given was stuck in the Suez Canal for a week. A similar ordeal for the Ever Forward, also owned by Evergreen Marine Corp., in the Chesapeake Bay has lasted a lot longer than that, and officials are now shifting strategy to get that vessel unstuck. The Guardian reports it's been more than three weeks since the container ship became caught off the coast of Maryland on March 13, and two tries so far to free it, using tugboats, have failed. That's why now authorities are resorting to a "cumbersome and complicated" process they'd hoped to avoid, per the Baltimore Sun: removing a few hundred containers off the ship to make it lighter to move. The Coast Guard says the operation will take about two weeks. "Once the containers are removed, tugs and pull barges will attempt another refloat," the military service says in a release. The shipping channel will allow for one-way traffic during that period. Our original story from March 16 follows:

The saga of the Ever Given, the container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week last summer, is over, but its sister ship is now experiencing a similar one closer to home. NBC News reports that the perhaps ironically named Ever Forward became grounded Sunday in the Chesapeake Bay, off the coast of Maryland, after leaving port in Baltimore. The ship was headed toward Norfolk, Va., US Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer 3rd Class Breanna Centeno tells the New York Times. Unlike the Ever Given situation, the Ever Forward, also owned by Evergreen Marine Corp (Taiwan) Ltd., is just outside the canal entrance to Baltimore and isn't blocking marine traffic.

"The ship's grounding has not prevented other ships from transiting into or out of the Port of Baltimore,” says William Doyle, executive director of the Maryland Port Administration. "Business and commerce-related activities at the Port of Baltimore continue as normal." He adds that a salvage crew, Navy architects, and divers are all working in tandem to nudge the ship back into motion, and that there have been no injuries or "pollution-related spills." It's not clear yet what caused the Ever Forward to get stuck, but the jokes aren't waiting for that answer. "March is International Evergreen Marine Corp Container Ship Runs Aground Month. What are you doing to celebrate?" one Twitter user posted. (Read more cargo ships stories.)

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