Chesapeake Bay safety zone to be extended Tuesday

A response boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay monitors the 1,095-foot motor vessel Ever Forward, which became grounded in the Chesapeake Bay, March 13, 2022. The Coast Guard and Maryland Department of the Environment are coordinating the refloating of the container ship. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kimberly Reaves/Released)

A response boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay monitors the 1,095-foot motor vessel Ever Forward, which became grounded in the Chesapeake Bay, March 13, 2022.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kimberly Reaves)

BALTIMORE — The U.S. Coast Guard, Maryland Department of the Environment and Evergreen Marine Corporation, in partnership with multiple state and local responders, will make an initial attempt to refloat the container ship EVER FORWARD Tuesday at noon following more than a week of dredging operations.

Weather conditions at the end of last week resulted in a slight delay in the operations from the originally anticipated refloat schedule.

During Tuesday’s refloat attempt, the current 500-yard safety zone around the ship in the Chesapeake Bay will be temporarily extended to 1,000 yards, closing the navigation channel to commercial traffic to provide for the safety of persons and the marine environment.

The expanded temporary safety zone will be enforced from noon Tuesday through midnight on March 29.

The public should anticipate one-way traffic at a reduced safe speed to resume at midnight or at the discretion of the Captain of the Port following the refloat attempt.

Ensuring the ship’s stability, and monitoring for potential pollution continue to be top priorities of the unified command and responders. In addition to regular soundings of fuel and ballast tanks, a naval architect is currently aboard EVER FORWARD constantly monitoring and evaluating the ship’s stability, and will continue to do so during the refloat operation.

If required, additional dredging operations will commence and a second attempt to refloat the EVER FORWARD would then be expected to occur on or about Sunday.

Mariners are requested to monitor VHF channel 16 for the latest information.

The EVER FORWARD salvage operation began Sunday, March 13 after the 1,095-foot container ship grounded in the Chesapeake Bay near Craighill Channel.

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