As a strong cold front rolled through the east coast of the United States yesterday, bringing with it wind gusts of up to 70 mph off Cape Henry, merchant vessels in the mouth of Chesapeake Bay had serious trouble coping.
12 ships anchored in the vicinity of Lynnhaven Roads to the south and east of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel began to drag anchor and caused the 751-foot bulk carrier, Ornak to run aground at approximately 8:35 p.m. near First Landing State Park.
The ship was not carrying any cargo when she grounded and is awaiting tugs to arrive this morning at high tide.
To help stabilize the situation, the Virginia Pilot office dispatched 11 pilots to embark the vessels last night as a precautionary measure.
“The Coast Guard, commercial industry and port partners are coordinating efforts to respond to the current adverse weather conditions and are monitoring all efforts to safely attend all vessels,” said Capt. John Little, the commander of Sector Hampton Roads. “Weather events such as this storm illustrate the continued need for close partnerships between the Coast Guard, industry and local emergency crews responding to maritime incidents.”
Images courtesy Dryad Maritime: