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First Attempt at Refloating Ever Forward Unsuccessful

Five tugs work to refloat the Ever Forward, March 29, 2022. Photo courtesy Maritime Safety Innovation Lab

First Attempt at Refloating Ever Forward Unsuccessful

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 31121
March 29, 2022

Ever Forward remains stuck in Chesapeake Bay more than two weeks after its grounding.

Update: A second attempt to refloat the Ever Forward is happening now

The initial effort to refloat the Ever Forward in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland proved to be unsuccessul after tugs failed to dislodge the ship on Tuesday.

Five tugs were used for the operation, which kicked off today at around noon. The configuration included two tugs pulling on the starboard quarter, one pulling on the stern, and two pushing on the port side.

A spokesperson from the Coast Guard told gCaptain at around 7 p.m. local time, several hours after the operation began, that there was no movement from the ship, but they added that the tugboats will be back on scene tomorrow.

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

The effort comes a little over a week after dredging began using two clamshell dredgers—Oyster Bay and Dale Pyatt.

Ever Forward grounded back on March 13 after straying from the Craighill shipping channel as it departed the Port of Baltimore with a pilot on board. AIS showed that the ship was travelling at about 13 knots when it exited the dredged shipping channel and came to a screeching halt in around 25 feet of water. It’s draft was reported to be 13 meters (42.6 feet).

A Coast Guard Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) issued earlier this week said if this inital attempt was unsuccesful, a second attempt would take place April 3-4. In addition to five tugs, the second attempt will involve two anchored pulling barges pull from the stern. It’s unclear how today’s operation has changed that plan.

If neither attempts are successful, the MSIB the the removal of containers may be necessary. This would prolonge the refloating of the vessel indefinitely.

Today’s operation involved the tugs Warhorse II, Atlantic Salvor, Atlantic Enterprise, April Moran and Lynn Moran, according to maritime expert and frequent gCaptain contributor Sal Mercogliano, who has been tracking the refloating effort closely on his Youtube channel What’s Going On With Shipping.

The appointed salvor in the operation is Donjon-Smit.

Footage of today’s refloating attempt was streamed live by a local news helicopter (noise warning):


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