Another cargo ship, another waterway, another embarrassing stranding for the Taiwan-based shipping company behind the weeklong blockage of the Suez Canal one year ago.
Satellites owned by the U.S. Earth observation company Maxar spotted a container ship that had been stuck for over two weeks in the shallow waters of the Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore, Maryland.
The 1,100-feet (330 meters) long Ever Forward is a smaller container ship owned by the same company as Ever Given, the ship that infamously blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week in March 2021. Since the Suez Canal, an artificial waterway dug through Egypt in the mid-19th century, offers the shortest way from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea and on to the Indian Ocean, that incident built up a solid traffic jam, which was visible from space, and caused serious disruptions to global trade.
Fortunately, Ever Forward is not causing such havoc. However, it seems to be giving rescue teams a similar headache.
The ship, operated by Taiwanese container transportation company Evergreen, was sailing to Norfolk, Virginia, from Baltimore, Maryland, when it ran aground in the Chesapeake on March 13, the New York Times reported.
The ship got stranded almost exactly a year after the Ever Given incident, prompting a wave of internet jokes.
"March is International Evergreen Marine Corp Container Ship Runs Aground Month," Twitter user Andy Mallon wrote, in a tweet highlighted by the New York Times. "What are you doing to celebrate?"
Dredgers can be seen working around the vessel in the Maxar satellite images, which were acquired on March 21 and released on Friday (March 25). Rescue work started on Thursday (March 24) and might take up to a week, shipping website Port Technology reported.
Ever Forward was not carrying dangerous materials, according to the New York Times, and no chemical spills have been reported.
"The ship's grounding has not prevented other ships from transiting into or out of the Port of Baltimore," William P. Doyle, executive director of the Maryland Port Administration, said in a statement obtained by the New York Times. "Business- and commerce-related activities at the Port of Baltimore continue as normal."
The cause of the incident is not yet known.
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Tereza is a London-based science and technology journalist, aspiring fiction writer and amateur gymnast. Originally from Prague, the Czech Republic, she spent the first seven years of her career working as a reporter, script-writer and presenter for various TV programmes of the Czech Public Service Television. She later took a career break to pursue further education and added a Master's in Science from the International Space University, France, to her Bachelor's in Journalism and Master's in Cultural Anthropology from Prague's Charles University. She worked as a reporter at the Engineering and Technology magazine, freelanced for a range of publications including Live Science, Space.com, Professional Engineering, Via Satellite and Space News and served as a maternity cover science editor at the European Space Agency.