Coast Guard Ends Search for 6 Missing in Bridge Disaster

Coast Guard Ends Search for 6 Missing in Bridge Disaster

Six construction workers were on a Baltimore bridge when it was struck by a large cargo ship and collapsed into the Patapsco River. The Coast Guard called off its search for them late on Tuesday.

Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath stated at a press conference shortly after dusk, “At this point, we do not believe we are going to find any of these individuals still alive,” citing the cold water temperatures and the amount of time since the overnight collapse.

An industry official stated that just before the Dali cargo ship collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge early on Tuesday, there was a “complete blackout” on board, which resulted in the loss of power to the engine and navigation systems.

The official, American Pilots Association executive director Clay Diamond, stated on Tuesday that he had been in regular contact with the Association of Maryland Pilots and that it was unclear what exactly caused the system to malfunction. The propulsion system was still offline even though the ship’s backup generators had started up and were partially restoring power.

According to Mr. Diamond, the pilot in charge of the ship gave the order to turn the ship as far to the left as possible and to drop the port anchor in an attempt to stop or slow the vessel’s drift towards the bridge as soon as the power went out. According to Mr. Diamond, those on the bridge who might have been harmed in an accident were shielded by the pilot’s order.

Mr. Diamond stated, “As soon as he lost power, he realised what could happen.” “He requested that the bridge be closed to traffic right away.”

According to Mr. Diamond, the ship’s pilot had over ten years of experience in the role. There was also an apprentice pilot in training on board.

The ship had been operating in accordance with standard procedures for ships departing Baltimore Harbour prior to the malfunction.

According to vessel-tracking data from the maritime data platform Marine Traffic, tugboats started guiding the Dali out of its berth and then assisted it in turning southward towards the bridge about an hour before the collision.

Local harbour pilots with expertise in operating in the Baltimore area are employed by the region. Before they are entrusted with bringing vessels into and out of the harbour, the pilots undergo years of training where they learn about the regulations, currents, routes, traffic patterns, and areas of danger in order to ensure safety in waters that may be unfamiliar to ship captains from other countries. Pilots with the most experience go on to operate larger boats.

Ships leaving the harbour had to adhere to a designated deep water channel that went towards and then beneath the Key Bridge. According to vessel data, the Dali was travelling at approximately 8.5 knots when it first entered that channel and began to exhibit symptoms of trouble.

Governor Wes Moore of Maryland said last month that the Port of Baltimore is the biggest port in the country by volume for deliveries of cars and light trucks. Currently, there is no marine traffic, and some cargo ships are stuck in the harbour.

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