Operations are underway in an effort to re-float the 712-ft. Liberian flagged cargo ship Montrose currently aground in the Chesapeake Bay, west of the Choptank River.
Crews under the direction of the Unified Command began the process known as lightering Sunday afternoon at approximately 3 p.m. Since then, approximately 4,800 tons of coal have been transferred from the ship to an attached barge.
If weather permits, crews on-scene anticipate having the coal of the Montrose transferred to nearby barges. When the coal transfer evolution is complete, a process known as de-ballasting will begin. De-ballasting is the removal of water that was used to keep the ship stable during the lightering process.
Attempts to re-float the Montrose are scheduled to begin on Tuesday, weather permitting. Once afloat, the ship will be taken to a safe anchorage where it will undergo an underwater dive inspection.
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.