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Ever Forward out of the mud, now awaits inspection

Massive cargo ship has been stuck on Chesapeake Bay for a month
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Posted at 6:03 PM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 18:21:33-04

BALTIMORE — The huge container ship, the Ever Forward, has moved. It was moved off the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay Sunday.

A lot of time and money went into this effort.

About 350 containers were removed, and with the help of a full moon and high tide, crews finally had success.

Ever Forward had been stuck on the Chesapeake for just over a month.

Around 7 a.m, Easter morning, two pulling barges and five tugboats pulled it off the bay’s bottom, ending a 35 day effort to free it.

MORE: Ever Forward freed from the mud and towed to Annapolis after being stuck for 35 days

The ship was leaving the Port of Baltimore heading to Norfolk. Now, the massive cargo ship is south of the Bay Bridge. Engineers will board to do inspections to make sure it's seaworthy.

Up close with Ever Forward: Massive cargo ship stuck on Chesapeake Bay for a month


“They gotta make sure that the hull is intact,” said Mike Gonsalves, the top mechanic at Galahad Marine. “They gotta make sure that all the bilge pumps are up and running. They have to make sure that all their back-up power systems are up and running, generator, power is all good and overall structural damage, no cracks or anything like that.”

The unloading operation started April 6 and ran a week.

Just because the boat eventually grouted into mud, Gonsalves thinks that's a significant L-load put on the hull.

RELATED: Crews to remove shipping containers from the Ever Forward in order to get it floating again

“When it hits the ground like that, the amount of weight that boat is by itself, let alone topped off with all that cargo on there, it can do significant damage,” he said.

If the Ever Forward passes the inspection in the bay, it will head back to the Port of Baltimore and pick up the containers they removed and sail onto Norfolk.

RELATED: Up close with Ever Forward: Massive cargo ship stuck on Chesapeake Bay for a month

Gonsalves believes when the Ever Forward reaches Norfolk, a major inspection will be done pier-side.

“I mean a little iceberg sank the Titanic, so a boat that size hitting the mud, cruising altitude, forget it,” Gonsalves said. “I'd be very surprised if there wasn't some damage to that boat.”

The Coast Guard still has not released the cause of the grounding.