It took five weeks, and the Ever Forward, a 1,095-foot container ship managed by the same company that blocked the Suez Canal last year, was ultimately freed in the Chesapeake Bay around 7 a.m. on Sunday.
The salvage vessels were helped by a full moon and strong spring tide as they hauled and pushed the big ship from the mud, through an excavated hole, and back into the shipping channel.
The Ever Forward was refloated and held down by water tanks to guarantee a safe transit beneath the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on its voyage to an anchorage off Annapolis, according to reports.
The Ever Forward, loaded with approximately 5,000 containers, was on its way from Baltimore to Norfolk when it ran aground in the bay near the Craighill Channel on March 13, according to the US Coast Guard.
“Initial reports indicated no injuries, pollution or damage to the vessel as a result of the grounding,” the agency said in a statement at the time. The ship, which became stuck about 20 miles southeast of Baltimore, was not obstructing the channel, it added.
Before the Coast Guard allows the ship to return to the Port of Baltimore to recover the offloaded containers, marine inspectors will inspect the ship’s hull.
Ship traffic and the worldwide supply chain were disrupted for days due to this tragedy.