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The ship that caused the collapse of the Baltimore Bridge has arrived in Hampton Roads.

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After a 20-hour voyage down the Chesapeake Bay, the cargo ship Dali—which was responsible for the March 26 collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore—has finally made landfall in Hampton Roads. Since the incident, the ship had been berthed at the Port of Baltimore, accompanied by the Coast Guard Cutter Sailfish, an 87-foot patrol boat of the Marine Protector class.

Watchkeepers in the Fifth Coast Guard District, which includes Portsmouth, kept a tight eye on the Dali’s movements the entire way. To guarantee safe passage, the Cutter Sailfish kept a 500-yard safety zone around the ship. The entire crew of twenty-two people and six salvage specialists from Resolve Marine were on board the self-propelled Dali. Four original crew members were also there to offer knowledge with the ship.

These four crew members will disembark upon docking, and the new crew will stay on to supervise repairs. The Dali received assistance from four commercial tugboats, while Interceptor, a recovery vessel from Resolve Marine, trailed closely after.

To lower the draft, some 17,000 cargo containers will be offloaded from the Virginia International Gateway in Portsmouth, leaving about 27,000 containers on board for transit to the Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) North. The Dali will have its damage from the fall of the bridge repaired at NIT North.

There may not be a need for a dry dock as US Coast Guard Captain Jennifer Stockwell reported that there is no known underwater damage. “Dockside, they can definitely conduct a lot of the maintenance right there,” she said. There is hope that the ship will be seaworthy even though it is unclear if it will be completely repaired before leaving Hampton Roads.

Although the Coast Guard does help with damaged vessel shipments on occasion, Stockwell pointed out that this particular instance is unusual due to the extent of the damages. “It’s clear from the degree of destruction that this one is considerably different. Those international transits are far more severe. “We want to ensure the safety of the crew and the vessel,” she said.

During the Dali’s voyage, the Coast Guard will transmit Safety Marine Information Broadcasts on VHF radio channel 16 to notify the marine community.

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