Bulk carrier runs aground near Norfolk

No pollution is reported from Hong Dai as the responders assess possible damage

(PORTSMOUTH, Va.) — Coast Guard Sector Virginia crews successfully coordinated refloating a cargo ship that ran aground one quarter mile northwest of Sewell’s Point in Norfolk late Wednesday night.

Seven tugs were instrumental in refloating Hong Dai, a Panama-flagged 738-foot bulk carrier vessel, with the high tide Friday morning. Hong Dai remains at anchor under a captain of the port order restricting its movement until an underwater survey can be conducted by the company and the vessel is deemed fully safe to sail by the officer in charge of marine inspections.

The coordination was conducted through Sector Virginia’s prevention department utilizing teams of port state control officers, marine inspectors and marine investigators supported by a 45-foot response boat-medium crew from Coast Guard Station Portsmouth to ensure the safety and stability of the ship and identify any potential pollution threats. The Port of Virginia’s Maritime Incident Response Team also provided assistance.

“The key to this successful marine salvage operation is the coordination of multiple port partners coming together and working for the continued safety, security, and prosperity of the Port of Virginia,” said Cmdr. Dean Horton, prevention department head at Sector Virginia.

At the time of the grounding, crewmembers from Hong Dai reported the bulk carrier had 22 crewmembers aboard and was carrying a cargo of coal, 188,000 gallons of low sulfur fuel oil, diesel, and lube oil, collectively.

Previous report 

(PORTSMOUTH, Va.) — Coast Guard Sector Virginia and the Port of Virginia’s Maritime Incident Response Team are assisting the crew of a cargo ship after it ran aground near Norfolk on Wednesday night.

Watch standers at the Coast Guard Sector Virginia command center received notification from crewmembers aboard Hong Dai, a Panama-flagged 738-foot bulk coal carrier, stating the ship ran aground on a soft sandy bottom approximately one quarter mile Northwest of Sewell’s Point in Norfolk.

Hong Dai’s crew reported no injuries, pollution or flooding concerns at the time.

Sector Virginia investigation crews boarded the ship Thursday morning and are assisting the ship’s crew in assessing damage and the threat of pollution.

A 45-foot response boat-medium crew from Coast Guard Station Portsmouth also responded to the incident.

The vessel remains under a captain of the port order to remain in place and the Coast Guard is currently in communication with the ship’s owners to assist in establishing a salvage plan.

– U.S. Coast Guard

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