Photo courtesy Maritime Safety Innovation Lab

Ever Forward Refloating Plan Revealed

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 7604
March 28, 2022

Salvors will use five tugs to attempt to refloat the Ever Forward in Chesapeake Bay on Tuesday.

Details of the refloating operation were released as part of a Marine Safety Information Bulletin first issued Sunday establishing a safety zone of 500 yards around the grounded ship in the lead up to the operation.

The first attempt to refloat the vessel will take place on Tuesday, March 29, using configuation of five tugs; including two pushing on the port side, two pulling on the starboard side, one long pull from stern.

A close up of the image in the tweet above, shared by Port of Baltimore Executive Direct William Boyle is below (the image first appeared on the MSIB issued Sunday. The MSIB was updated Monday without the image(s)).

The tug configuration for the initial attempt, scheduled for Tuesday, March 29. Credit: Timothy Doyle/USCG

The safety zone around the vessel will increase to 1,000 yards as of 1200 on March 29, 2022, to allow for the operation. During this time, one-way traffic in the Craighill Channel will cease until around midnight. Mariners are asked to monitor the VHF channel 16 for the latest information.

Dredging is scheduled to continue from March 27-31 at the stern of the Ever Forward and along the starboard side but outside the federal channel, the MSIB said.

The tug and pulling barge configuration for refloating attempt #2. Credit: Timothy Doyle/USCG

If the initial attempt is unsuccesful, a second attempt is scheduled to take place April 3-4 with a different configuation. This second attempt will involve two anchored pulling barges (from the stern) and five tugs configured along the vessel—the fifth tug will be on the bow pulling aft, according to the Port of Baltimore’s Doyle. The pulling barges will remain outside the shipping channel, but will be pre-positioning themselves as early as Friday, April 1, 2022.

If neither attempts are successful, the Coast Guard says the the removal of containers will need to be initiated.

Tidal data for nearby Gibson Island shows high tides on Tuesay will take place at 4:54 a.m. and 5:51 p.m. eastern time (ET).

The more than 1,100-foot-long M/V Ever Forward grounded on Sunday, March 13, after straying from the Craighill shipping channel as it departed the Port of Baltimore with a pilot on board.

No damage or pollution has been reported and the ship remains stable. The appointed salvor, Donjon-Smit, has been using two “clamshell” dredgers to excavate mud from the around the wreck. The dredged material is being deposited at Poplar Island as part of on-going habitat restoration work.

Ever Forward, a 12,100 TEU capacity containership, is registered in Hong Kong and operated by Evergreen Marine.

The refloating operation is covered by Sal Mercogliano on the latest episode of What’s Going on With Shipping?, which is below:

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