The Ever Forward, a Hong Kong flagged ship operated by Evergreen, the 7th largest container shipping line in the world, was on its way from the port of Baltimore in Maryland US to Norfolk when it is said to have missed a southbound turn in the Chesapeake Bay and ran aground (resting at the bottom) around 00:15 hrs (UTC) on the 13th of March 2022 near Gibson Island in the Chesapeake Bay channel.
The authorities made several attempts to refloat the ship which involved pulling and pushing of the ship using tug boats and dredging around the ship to loosen the sand around the ship’s bow.
Dredging is the removal of sediments and debris from the bottom of lakes, rivers, harbors, channels, and other water bodies. It is a routine necessity in waterways around the world because sedimentation—the natural process of sand and silt washing downstream—gradually fills channels and harbors.
After a few unsuccessful efforts to free the ship, salvage experts determined they can’t overcome the ground force of the Ever Forward in its current loaded condition and decided to start operations to remove containers from the ship to lighten the load.
Accordingly, operations commenced on the 9th of April to remove containers from Ever Forward and load on barges which took the containers to Port Baltimore Seagirt.
The combined actions of lighterage operations, dredging, and salvage operations by the Don Jon-Smit salvage team seem to have yielded results and the Ever Forward was refloated at 07:15 hrs on Easter Sunday the 17th of April 2022.
“The Ever Forward will remain at the Annapolis anchorage site to undergo a survey/scanning of the vessel’s hull. The Annapolis anchorage site is visible from Bay Bridge and is the location where deep sea ships anchor while awaiting orders to proceed.” said Doyle in a tweet.
Evergreen had previously announced General Average for the Ever Forward on the back of increased costs arising from the continued attempts to refloat the vessel and had appointed Richards Hogg Lindley as the GA adjuster.