Operations Underway to Refloat Montrose

BALTIMORE – Operations are underway in an effort to re-float the 712-foot Liberian flagged cargo ship Montrose currently aground in the Chesapeake Bay, west of the Choptank River.

Crews under the direction of the Unified Command began the process known as “lightering” Sunday afternoon at approximately 3 p.m. Since then, approximately 4,800 tons of coal have been transferred from the ship to an attached barge.

If weather permits, crews on-scene anticipate having the coal of the Montrose transferred to nearby barges by Tuesday around 6 a.m. When the coal transfer evolution is complete, a process known as de-ballasting will begin. De-ballasting is the removal of water that was used to keep the ship stable during the lightering process.

Attempts to re-float the Montrose are scheduled to begin at approximately 4 p.m. Tuesday, weather permitting. Once afloat, the ship will be taken to a safe anchorage where it will undergo an underwater dive inspection.

The Unified Command consists of the Coast Guard, ECM Maritime Services, Resolve Marine Group, Maryland Natural Resources Police, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Department of the Environment, and Motia Navigation who is the operator of the Montrose.

BALTIMORE - Responders use a crane to transfer 7,100 metric tons of coal from the cargo ship Montrose in Chesapeake Bay, March 5, 2007. The ship ran aground in the bay Feb. 28 and three tugs with more than 15,000 horsepower were unable to free it. Workers under a Unified Command have been working around the clock to free the ship. U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Kendrick

Responders use a crane to transfer 7,100 metric tons of coal from the cargo ship Montrose in Chesapeake Bay, March 5, 2007. The ship ran aground in the bay Feb. 28 and three tugs with more than 15,000 horsepower were unable to free it. Workers under a Unified Command have been working around the clock to free the ship.
U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Kendrick

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