Trapped ships

Something that has been rarely mentioned is that the ships at Baltimore Coast Guard base in Curtis Bay is also cut off by the bridge collapse. Hopefully this will not interfere with SAR and A &N although one of the ships trapped is a buoy tender.

Most of the bigger CG cutters there are at the CG shipyard getting work done to them.

I saw (on AIS) the CG Mako slip through the south side of the unmarked highway span a few days ago, so the smaller ones can get out.

A few smaller tugs have been able to get under as well.


Given the way the collapsed bridge sections are blocking the main channel is there any possibility of opening up other passages so vessels larger than small tugs can pass? Or is it all or nothing?

Don’t know if this helps.

Seems like the bridge sections are blocking everything, doesn’t it?

Maybe if there’s some easy section to remove and then they can dredge, but to get down to 38-40’ would probably take a long time.

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Thanks for the update. I checked the MarineTraffic website. It appears the biggest thing in the water was a buoy tender.

Not really, KC.
The auxiliary span to the north has 20 feet or so of water and shoals quickly toward Sollers Point.
The south auxiliary span has 30-35 feet of water and drops rapidly toward Hawkins Point
Then, there is airdraft to worry about too.

Howya doing, Bayrunner?
It’s been a while.

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Are you proposing dredging an alternate channel where water is shallower and the air draft less? The main channel controlling depth is 50 feet. Some of the debris may have collapsed some of the toe down into the central section but once it’s removed, there shouldn’t be a need for much dredging.

I don’t know if there’s an air draft problem now?

I was thinking if there’s some section east of the ship that can be easily removed, but the depth was less, an alternate channel could be dug. Especially now that they say the ship might be there for a while since they have to remove the section off of it first.

But that’s not a quick solution. I don’t know if there is any quick solution, no matter what it costs.

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No, I guess not unless we’re talking about the still supported roadway at the banks; the only possible way for small vessels to get through without risking hitting debris.

Yes, the air draft of the remaining roadway near Sollers Point and Hawkins Point.
If I recall my local knowledge correctly, the main span was something like 1300 feet in length.
The Fort McHenry Channel is 700 feet wide where the main span was, so we’re talking another 300 feet or so of span to the north and south of the channel.
This debris field is enormous.

From what has been said above, it seems like most vessels with less than a 20’ draft (and some unmentioned air draft) should be able to get out of Baltimore.

Trapped containers can be gotten out by truck, rail and barge.

A 1000 ton crane isn’t all that big for a job like this.

They should get the VB-10,000 under tow for Baltimore.

I don’t know. This is apparently the same class as the Mako - Draft 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m) which was mentioned by @Bayrunner as having slipped through.


I was wondering about workboats, barges etc needed for the task of clearing the main channel.


I would have thought it would be going already, but it appears it’s still in Sabine.

I’m still here.

And I’m happy I won’t have any part in this mess up the bay.

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Trucks, rail, and barge, yes. But we are probably talking tens of thousands of containers. There is the logistics of just getting everything lined up and rolling. Just imagine the traffic problems when you have thousands of trucks going into and out of a big city.

I mean, it’s probably just a normal day in Baltimore. The US doesn’t have a “feeder” container market carrying goods up and down the coast. There’s no new containers coming into the port so there isn’t any more congestion than usual on that front. “Thousands of trucks” go in and out of Baltimore every day. Along with rail cars.

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With the opening of two low-airdraft channels, it would seem tug/barge traffic should be relatively unimpeded so long as they aren’t loaded too deep for the new channels.

That leaves the following ships stranded in port until the main channel is cleared:

Bulkers JY River, Klara Oldendorff and Phatra Naree.
General Cargo ships Saimaagracht and Balsa 94.
Tanker Palanca Rio
Vehicle Carrier Carmen
MARAD RRF ships Antares, Denebola, Gary I Gordon and Cape Washington

All in all, its amazing there are so few ships bottled up considering how busy the Port of Baltimore can be.

Dann’s Topaz Coast and Ivory Coast are both stuck as well. Topaz Coast has a sugar barge at Domino sugar’s dock. Both are too big to fit under the spans.

Anything (more or less) that can operate in the ICW will be able to use the aux channels but that will be about it.