Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Ever Forward Still Stuck

WBAL TV, Dredging operations begin to remove container ship after weeklong grounding

One week later, and still, little movement of a stuck container ship on the Chesapeake Bay, located out of the shipping channel off of Gibson Island.

There's a plan to re-float the ship but experts said it is no easy task.

"When you consider the size and the way it's interesting how they're going do it and what they have to do apparently by excavating underneath," resident Bill Geiassenhainer said.

It has become quite the local tourist attraction at Downs Park near Gibson Island.

"Who would believe it? what's in it? How long is it going to be there and are they going to get out soon," resident Gwen Parker said.

The Ever Forward, which got stuck in the Chesapeake Bay last Sunday after veering out of a shipping channel, on its way from Baltimore to Norfolk.

"It has to succeed, and I believe it will succeed. We'll get that ship off and running sometime in the near future," Maryland Port Administration Executive Director Bill Doyle said.

Doyle said a 24-hour a day dredging operation kicked off Sunday morning.

"We have two dredgers there and several barges that will carry the dredge material. One of the dredgers is the largest clamshell dredge in the Western Hemisphere," he said.

Doyle also pointed out that freeing the Ever Forward will actually be more difficult than the freeing of its sister ship, the Ever Given, that got stuck in the Suez Canal as the Ever Forward is completely stuck in mud.

"It's a surgical operation. This type of dredging with a ship embedded in the mud and we hope that things will turn out pretty good in the next couple of weeks," Doyle said.

As far as what was on the ship, sources at the port told 11 News maybe about half of the containers are empty, others filled with all kinds of consumables and equipment.

At Downs Park, the show goes on.

"It's not that hard to sail this bay, so I think it's kind of cool everybody's interested in it and watching the news," Kathleen Bartosevich said.

According to the Port of Baltimore, all of the dredge material that is excavated from under the ship will be used for the restoration and rebuilding of Poplar Island, which started sinking several years ago.

That's still a lot of metal to move.  

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