The bucket of the dredger Dale Pyatt with the Oyster Bay pictured in the Background. Photo courtesy William Doyle

Dredgers Get to Work Digging Out Ever Forward

Mike Schuler
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March 21, 2022

Dredging around the stuck Ever Forward kicked off over the weekened with two dredges now working to clear mud from the around the ship’s hull.

Port of Baltimore Executive Director William Doyle said dredging commenced Sunday lead by Donjon-Smit, the appointed salvor, and Cashman Dredging & Marine Construction.

AIS shows two dredges, Donjon’s Oyster Bay and Cashman’s Dale Pyatt, on scene with Ever Forward. Doyle notes that Dale Pyatt is the largest “clam shell dredge” in the Western Hemisphere, equipped with 28 cubic yard bucket. Donjon Marine Co.’s Oyster Bay is equipped with clam shell bucket that is 15 cubic yards.

The dredging is part of a salvage plan that has now been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

“The team is mobilizing all available local tugboats to join in the refloating operation,” Evergreen said in a March 18 update. “After sufficient mud is excavated the refloating operation will begin using both the tugboats and the power of her main engine. The rescue team will carry out the plan utilizing the most beneficial high tide period in the port area.”

No timeline has been provided for the refloating.

Read: Ever Forward Grounding Follows East Coast Ports’ Rush to Expand

Photo courtesy Maritime Safety Innovation Lab

The 334-meter-long Ever Forward grounded Sunday, March 13, after straying from the Craigshill Channel as it departed the Port of Baltimore for Norfolk, Virginia. The ship remains grounded between buoys 16 and 14, off of Gibson Island. The cause of the grounding is unknown. The Port of Baltimore continues operating normally with ship traffic not impeded.

With the full moon having just passed, the next full moon will take place April 16 and provide the most favorable high tide conditions. However, the tidal range in the northern part of Chesapeake Bay is only about a foot at most, so whether the refloating effort will await the full moon may not make much of a difference—as it provides only about an extra inch of water.

The Ever Forward’s crew, who remain on board, continue to conduct soundings to monitor for pollution. So far no pollution has been reported and the vessel remains stable.

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