Ever stuck: Suez container ship’s cousin runs aground in US harbor

·2 min read
<span>Photograph: Jeffrey F Bill/AP</span>
Photograph: Jeffrey F Bill/AP

A year to the month after the Ever Given blocked the Suez canal for a week – prompting global fascination and countless memes – the container ship’s cousin has run aground in the Chesapeake Bay.

Officials are now scrambling to refloat that container ship, ironically named the Ever Forward, after it got stuck on Sunday night as it tried to head from the Port of Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia, Bloomberg reported.

The US Coast Guard said it did not know what had caused the stranding, which did not lead to any injuries or harm the vessel, according to CBS Baltimore.

Like the 400-metre Ever Given, the 334-metre Ever Forward belongs to the Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine Corp.

But the smaller ship’s grounding is unlikely to cause as much trouble as last year’s crisis. The Ever Given’s plight caused headaches for more than 400 waiting vessels, costing global trade $6bn to $10bn a day, according to a study. The Ever Forward’s grounding, on the other hand, was “not preventing other ships from transiting to the Port of Baltimore”, said William P Doyle, the executive director of the Maryland Port Association, to Bloomberg in a statement on Monday. “Efforts have been under way since last night to try and free the ship and will continue today.”

Other ships in the area were told to slow down and use a one-way traffic pattern.

The ship needs water at least 43ft deep to move, but it was stuck in an area that was just 25ft deep. It was not clear when it might be freed. “Everything like this is kind of its own beast,” the coastguard petty officer Steven Lehmann told the Baltimore Sun.

The effort to rescue the Ever Given, which weighs 220,000 metric tons, required dredging 30,000 cubic meters of sand, with the help of 13 tugboats and a rising tide. The vessel was trapped from 23 to 29 March.

Since then, however, the Ever Given has managed to get through the canal without getting stuck. The maritime app Marine Traffic showed it in the Red Sea on Monday night, headed toward the Suez once again.