Montrose Heads for Inspection

Thursday, March 08, 2007
The cargo ship Montrose began its trip to safe anchorage in the Chesapeake Bay. Divers will conduct an underwater inspection after its arrival 12 miles south of where it ran aground. The divers will look for any damage under the ship.

The 712-foot Liberian flagged ship was carrying 74,215 metric tons of coal when it ran aground Feb. 28 near Sharps Island, Md. Multiple tug boats working together were unable to free the Montrose from being stuck and a Unified Command determined coal needed to be offloaded to re-float the ship. Crews working for the Unified Command met their goal of transferring approximately 7,100 metric tons of coal to a barge alongside at about 10 p.m. Tuesday. Their operations were suspended Monday evening due to inclement weather and resumed Tuesday afternoon. After they transferred the coal, crews on the ship began a process known as de-ballasting. De-ballasting is the removal of water that was used to keep the ship stable during the lightering process. The Unified Command consists of the Coast Guard, ECM Maritime Services, Resolve Marine Group, Maryland Natural Resources Police, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Department of the Environment, and Motia Navigation who is the operator of the Montrose. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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