Did you hear about the Evergreen container ship that got stuck? No, not that one, the other one? Yeah, you know the Ever Forward? It got stuck in the Chesapeake Bay way back in March. Anyway, it’s still stuck there and they’re about to take another crack at freeing it.
It’s easy to get confused when it comes to stuck ships these days. Less than a year after the Ever Given wedged itself into the side of the Suez Canal and stopped global trade for a week, its sister ship managed to strand itself in the Chesapeake Bay.
Thankfully, this ship isn’t causing quite so much disruption to international trade. But, it has been stuck there for almost three times as long as the Ever Given.
After first lodging itself in a sand bank on March 14th, the Ever Forward is still ever stuck on that very same sand bank. The two-year-old ship has been wedged off the coast of Baltimore for 25 days now. That’s 3.5 percent of its lifetime.
In that time, the U.S. Coast Guard has made several attempts to free the stuck ship.
The last attempt was almost a week ago now (April 2nd) and, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, didn’t quite go to plan. Rescuers set up an exclusion zone around the ship to prevent boats heading into and out of the Port of Baltimore from disrupting their work.
Then, crews used five tugs and two anchored pulling barges to try and force the vessel out and into a deeper channel that they had dredged. The barges were attached to the rear of the Ever Forward and served as an anchor while the tugs were used to try and move the port, starboard and bow of the ship.
But that didn’t work.
In a statement, the U.S. Coast Guard said: “Salvage experts determined they would not be able to overcome the ground force of the Ever Forward in its current loaded condition.”
So, the ship needs to lose weight.
Now, workers have positioned cranes and barges around the Ever Forward and will begin unloading containers from the decks of the boat. According to CBS News, workers will unload as many as 5,000 containers from the Ever Forward to lighten the load.
Once safely off the ship, these containers will be taken back to Baltimore, specifically the Seagirt Marine Terminal.
After that, workers will begin planning another mission to save the stuck ship. Until then, let’s all just take a moment to enjoy the majestic sight of this fully-loaded container ship stuck with nowhere to go.
It’s a strange sight, but one we might all get a bit bored of if stuff like this keeps happening.