Watch: Salvors Remove First Containers From Dali

Written by Nick Blenkey, Senior Editorial Consultant and Web Editor, Marine Log
(USCG Photograph)

(USCG Photograph)

As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) works toward its target of restoring full access to the Port of Baltimore by the end of May, the Unified Command responding to the incident has begun to remove containers from the M/V Dali. The 946-foot containership has been pinned under a massive section of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge since striking it on March 26. Salvors are removing the containers as part of the effort to gain access to the portion of the Key Bridge that remains atop the ship. The transfer of containers from Dali will continue as weather permits.

The removal of the containers is a critical step required to safely move the M/V Dali and eventually fully re-open the Fort McHenry Channel. Removing containers allows for safe access to then remove the pieces of the Key Bridge that lie across the ship’s bow, taking weight off the ship and ultimately allowing for the movement of the ship.

In parallel, wreckage and debris removal continued at the site, including included the removal of a 156-ton piece of the Key Bridge’s Span 19 , which was hoisted from outside of the navigational channel and loaded onto a barge and taken to Sparrows Point, Md., for future disposal. While marine traffic is still limited, as of yesterday a total of 32 vessels had transited the temporary alternate channels set up by the Unified Command.

“The Unified Command is concurrently progressing on its main lines of effort to remove enough debris to open the channel to larger commercial traffic, refloat the M/V Dali and continue recovery efforts for missing loved ones,” said Coast Guard Capt. David O’Connell, federal on-scene coordinator, Unified Command. “Every day we are working to achieve these goals safely and efficiently.”

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