Monday, January 16, 2023

Ever Forward Pilot Loses License - Cell Phones Banned

Boats working to free grounded Ever Forward
WMAR2 News, Captain who grounded Ever Forward surrenders pilot's license, agrees to never seek one again

A ship captain who grounded the Ever Forward last year on the Chesapeake Bay has surrendered his Maryland pilotage license and agreed to never again seek one in the state. Captain Steven Germac agreed to give up his license in exchange for the Maryland Board of Pilots agreeing to not fine him $2000 or seek other disciplinary action.

As part of the agreement Germac admitted and consented to the Board's investigative findings that he failed to use all available means to monitor the Ever Forward ship's position in time to avoid its grounding.

The 1,095-foot container ship was sailing to Norfolk, Virginia from the Port of Baltimore when it became grounded in the Craighill Channel on March 13. It wasn't until 35 days later the the ship would finally be free.

The Patch, Cargo Ship Stuck In Bay Prompts New Cell Phone Policy, Oyster Fine

A cargo ship stuck in the Chesapeake Bay led to a new cell phone policy for nautical pilots. The shipping company must also pay $676,200 to repair a damaged oyster bed.

The Maryland Board of Pilots unanimously voted Jan. 6 to adopt the new cell phone policy. WMAR reported that the policy said pilots "should use a phone to text or email only for navigational, operational, maritime safety, national security, or other professional purposes."

The board last month suspended the license of the pilot navigating the grounded ship, the Associated Press reported. The ship, named the Ever Forward, ran aground near Pasadena and got stuck for over 35 days in early 2022.

The Coast Guard accused the unidentified pilot of using their cell phone for about half of the two-hour voyage from Baltimore. A Coast Guard report said the pilot "placed and received numerous calls, texted messages, and draft emails on their personal cell phone right up until the incident."

Pilots are required to guide and navigate ships in the Chesapeake Bay. The Associated Press said the pilot is not an employee of Evergreen Marine Corp., which operates the Ever Forward.

This appears to pretty much end the Ever Forward saga

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