The US Coast Guard shared findings from when the container ship dubbed the Ever Forward got stuck in the Chesapeake Bay earlier in 2022, stating that it ran aground as its pilot was not paying adequate attention.
The report pointed to inefficient bridge resource management as another contributing factor.
The cargo vessel was reportedly loaded with nearly 5,000 containers on 13 March and was sailing from Baltimore to Norfolk when it got stuck in the Craighill Channel.
Video Credits: 13 News Now / YouTube
It took over a month for crew members to pry the vessel out of the mud and again send it back up to Annapolis.
The Coast Guard has reported safety issues on the website “Findings of Concern”. For such a case, the findings reflected that the pilot of the Ever Forward was making calls, delivering texts, and also writing emails on his personal mobile while on the trip, and was allowing the Portable Pilot Unit (PPU) to navigate the vessel.
As the pilot was writing an email, it was time to turn the boat, but it went unnoticed.
Some of the crew members on the bridge were relieved to be able to get their dinner. The relief team sent out messages to the pilot regarding the ship’s heading, but by the time the bridge team was more assertive regarding where the ship was heading, it was already too late.
They sailed via the place they should have ideally turned and eventually ran aground.
In the report that surfaced on examining the situation, the Coast Guard mentioned that they could prevent similar problems by defining when crew members are permitted to use cell phones.
References: 13 News Now, Chesapeake Bay Magazine, The Washington Post