Ever Forward: Where are the Lessons Learned?

“Lessons not learned in blood are soon forgotten.”

MV Ever Forward grounded in the Chesapeake Bay south of Baltimore on March 13, 2022.  The vessel was refloated on April 17 after 206,280 cubic yards of material was dredged from around the vessel, a historic lightering operation took place over the course of a week to remove 500 containers and a small fleet of tugs and specialized salvage equipment was assembled.

It was reported after Ever Forward was refloated that the U.S. Coast Guard was conducting an investigation.  Contact with the public affairs office for their Sector Maryland – National Capital Region failed to verify this and a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act has been submitted,

Unofficial sources indicate that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is not conducting an investigation into the Ever Forward grounding and a search of their docket reveals no such investigation.  Workboat magazine ran an article in 2019 discussing the criteria for NTSB to conduct an investigation into a maritime incident, which follows.

  • The loss of six or more lives.
  • The loss of a mechanically propelled vessel of 100 or more gross tons.
  • Property damage initially estimated as $500,000 or more.
  • Serious threat, as determined by the USCG commandant and concurred with by the NTSB chairman, to life, property, or the environment by hazardous materials.

In the end, why should we, the maritime industry, care?  Why would we want to find out why a 1,000+ foot ship went aground just outside a busy port?

Is it because the Ever Forward has returned on her regularly scheduled voyages?

Is it because other ships of the same class regularly call on the Port of Baltimore?  Most recently this was Ever Favor this past Wednesday.

Whether it is the International Maritime Organization, P&I clubs or the U.S. Coast Guard themselves, effort is being made on a continuing basis to identify lessons learned from incidents so that others might not have the same incidents.

So, where are the lessons learned from the grounding of Ever Forward?  Or will we wait until the next time to investigate?

Additional Reading and Links

IMO – Consolidated version Of Lessons Learned For Presentation To Seafarers – Groundings – retrieved September 02, 2022

UK P&I – Lessons Learnt

U.S. Coast Guard – Lessons Learned/Safety Alerts

EMSA – Learning Lessons from Accidents

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