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.