Coast Guard assists aground cargo ship near Sewell’s Point, Virginia

The Hong Dai sits aground a quarter mile Northwest of Sewell's Point near Norfolk, Virginia, October 1, 2020. The Panamanian flagged 738-foot bulk coal carrier ran aground on a soft sandy bottom Wednesday evening, and the Coast Guard is assisting the ship’s crew in assessing damages and the threat of pollution. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

The Hong Dai sits aground a quarter mile Northwest of Sewell’s Point near Norfolk, Virginia, October 1, 2020.  (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Coast Guard Sector Virginia crews successfully coordinated refloating a cargo ship that ran aground one quarter mile northwest of Sewell’s Point in Norfolk late Wednesday night.

Seven tugs were instrumental in refloating the Panamanian flagged 738-foot bulk carrier vessel Hong Dai, with the high tide Friday morning. The Hong Dai remains at anchor under a Captain of the Port Order restricting its movement until an underwater survey can be conducted by the company and the vessel is deemed fully safe to sail by the officer in charge of marine inspections.

The coordination was conducted through Sector Virginia’s prevention department utilizing teams of port state control officers, marine inspectors and marine investigators supported by a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Portsmouth to ensure the safety and stability of the ship and identify any potential pollution threats. The Port of Virginia’s Maritime Incident Response Team also provided assistance.

“The key to this successful marine salvage operation is the coordination of multiple port partners coming together and working for the continued safety, security, and prosperity of the Port of Virginia,” said Cmdr. Dean Horton, prevention department head at Sector Virginia.

At the time of the grounding, crewmembers from the Hong Dai reported the bulk carrier had 22 crewmembers aboard and was carrying a cargo of coal, 188,000 gallons of low sulfur fuel oil, diesel, and lube oil, collectively.

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