A container ship operated by the same company whose ship blocked the Suez Canal last year, withholding billions of dollars in global trade for nearly a week, has been stuck in the Chesapeake Bay since Sunday night, according to Maryland officials.
The 1,095-foot Ever Forward was en route to Norfolk, Va., from Baltimore when it ran aground in the bay near the Craighill Channel, said Petty Officer Third Class Breanna Centeno, a spokeswoman for the rangers. American coasts.
A salvage team, naval architects and divers were working to free the ship, William P. Doyle, executive director of the Maryland Port Authority, said in a statement. The Coast Guard is leading the rescue efforts, he said.
There were no injuries and no “pollution-related spills”, Mr Doyle said. NCO Centeno said the vessel was not carrying hazardous materials.
The ship became nearly a year after the Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships, ran aground in the Suez Canal on March 23, 2021, blocking a channel that is expected to handle around 10% of global commercial maritime traffic.
It took six days to free the ship and at that time 367 ships were waiting to pass through the canal, which serves as a lifeline linking factories in Asia to affluent customers in Europe, as well as a major conduit for oil. The episode was a disaster for the shipping industry, shutting down global shipping and freezing nearly $10 billion in trade a day.
The mishap of the Ever Forward, which, like the Ever Given, is operated by Evergreen Marine Corp., appeared much less catastrophic, according to authorities in Maryland.
“The grounding of the vessel did not prevent other vessels from transiting to or from the Port of Baltimore,” Mr. Doyle said. “Business and trade-related activities at the Port of Baltimore continue as normal.”
Yet the ship ran aground at a time when global supply chains remain disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic. The timing has also spawned a new round of Internet jokes, which last year reveled in Ever Given’s setbacks.
“March is International Evergreen Marine Corp Container Ship Grounding Month,” a Twitter user wrote. “What are you doing to celebrate?”
Evergreen Marine Corp. did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The Ever Forward alert came at 9 p.m. Sunday, Master Centeno said. The ship had left Baltimore that day and was scheduled to arrive in Virginia on Thursday, according to the ship’s schedule.
The Coast Guard said it has not determined how the Ever Forward got stuck.
“Once the ship is refloated,” Master Centeno said, “we will investigate the cause.”