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Ever Forward, Stuck In Chesapeake Bay, Evaluated By Experts

BALTIMORE (AP) — A salvage team and naval architects are working together to figure out how to free a cargo ship stuck in Chesapeake Bay.

The Ever Forward, a 1,095-foot container ship, was headed from the Port of Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia, when it ran aground Sunday night, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The Hong-Kong flagged ship is not blocking any navigation, unlike its sister vessel, the Ever Given, which got stuck and blocked traffic for days in the Suez Canal nearly a year ago.

The Ever Forward went aground outside the main navigation corridor, the Craighill Channel.

There were no reports of injuries, pollution or damage to the 1,095-foot (334-meter) ship, which is operated by Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine Corp.

Coast Guard officials said on Tuesday that the Ever Forward is not currently obstructing the navigational channel but vessels operating in the vicinity are still required to conduct one-way traffic and transit at a reduced speed.

Additionally, the Coast Guard has issued a Captain of the Port Order "requiring the vessel's crew to conduct soundings of all tanks, bilges, and voids every four hours to monitor potential pollution and report any noticeable change in stability, draft readings, vessel position, or signs of an oil discharge," according to Coast Guard officials.

Technical experts boarded the Ever Forward on Monday to evaluate the ship's condition, Maryland Port Administration Executive Director William P. Doyle said in a statement Tuesday. He said various experts are working with divers to determine the best course of action to free the ship.

Officials haven't yet determined what caused the ship to run aground, Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Breanna Centeno said in an email Tuesday.

In March 2021, the Ever Given, another ship operated by Evergreen, crashed into a bank of the Suez Canal amid a sandstorm, creating a traffic jam that held up $9 billion a day in global trade and strained supply chains already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic. It was freed six days later.

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