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Adm. Linda L. Fagan, commandant of the Coast Guard, Vice Adm. Peter W. Gautier, deputy commandant for operations, Governor Wes Moore, governor of Maryland, and Mayor Brandon Scott, mayor of Baltimore, view the MV Dali and Baltimore Key Bridge collapse site, March 29, 2024.

Adm. Linda L. Fagan, commandant of the Coast Guard, Vice Adm. Peter W. Gautier, deputy commandant for operations, Governor Wes Moore, governor of Maryland, and Mayor Brandon Scott, mayor of Baltimore, view the MV Dali and Baltimore Key Bridge collapse site, March 29, 2024. Key Bridge Unified Command Photo

Maritime Response to Baltimore Key Bridge Collapse Kicks Into Gear

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 4218
March 29, 2024

The response to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge kicked into high gear on Friday, with significant resources and maritime assets arriving on scene or en route.

The Unified Command, tasked with coordinating the operations, has sent numerous vessels including the Chesapeake 1000 crane barge with 1,000-ton lifting capacity.

The crane barge, the first of several to participate in the operation, arrived on the scene early Friday morning. Over the next 120 hours, an additional seven cranes, ten tugs, and nine barges will join the efforts.

Engineers are assessing the situation to devise the safest and most effective plan for salvage operations.

Environmental concerns are continuing to be addressed. An early morning overflight revealed no additional sheen in the surrounding waters of the M/V Dali. Crews are monitoring for any potential spills of oils or hazardous substances. As of Friday’s update, there were 2,700 feet of sorbent boom and an equal length of hard containment boom deployed, with another 16,000 feet on standby.

Responders with the Unified Command conduct an overflight assessment of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore, Maryland, March 29, 2024. The Key Bridge was struck by the Singapore-flagged cargo ship Dali early morning on March 26, 2024. (Unified Command courtesy photo)
Responders with the Unified Command conduct an overflight assessment of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore, Maryland, March 29, 2024. The Key Bridge was struck by the Singapore-flagged cargo ship Dali early morning on March 26, 2024. (Unified Command courtesy photo)

For the safety of all involved, a 2000-yard Safety Zone and a Temporary Flight Restriction have been put in place around the recovery efforts.

The vessel is reportedly situated on top of a high-pressure gas line on the sea floor, which is likely to require additional planning and surveys, leading to further delays.

The Singapore-flagged Dali, measuring 300 meters, was transporting 4,679 twenty-foot equivalent containers (TEUs) when it collided with a pillar of the Francis Scott Key Bridge just before 1:30 a.m. on March 26. The accident occurred just 50 minutes after the vessel departed from the Seagirt Marine Terminal with 21 crew members and two pilots on board. Tragically, six workers who were on the bridge at the time of the incident are presumed dead.

The Unified Command coordinating the response includes the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Maryland Department of the Environment, Maryland Transportation Authority, Witt O’Brien’s representing Synergy Marine, and the Maryland State Police.

Resolve Marine has reportedly been appointed to salvage the ship on behalf of Synergy Marine. Donjon Marine is also involved.

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