Wednesday, April 16, 2014

aground, explained

Sometimes things, particularly large things, can be visually stunning when seen where you don't expect them to be seen.  Like, for example, a 751 foot long ship.

The bulk carrier Ornak, which was empty at the time, was anchored out in the Lynnhaven Anchorage yesterday.  The anchorage is just inside Chesapeake Bay, just around the corner from Cape Henry which marks the southern entrance to the bay.  At any give time there can be 20 or more ships - freighters, container ships, colliers - anchored there, waiting for the tide or maybe a spot at the port.

About 8:30 last night a cold front rolled in with ragged, blustery gusts measured at up to 70 miles-an-hour.  Several ships in the anchorage dragged anchor.  Two collided.  One, the Ornak, continued dragging anchor.  The cranked up her engines but could not turn her north into the wind and away from the beach.  They dropped a second anchor.  She kept moving.  The ship came to a stop only when she ran up onto bottom in 15 feet of water.

There were no reported injuries.  Pilots from the Maryland and Virginia Pilot Associations boarded all the other ships and stayed on them throughout the night to prevent any more problems.

The Coast Guard hopes to use tugs to pull the Ornak out of the shallow water.  But they will have to wait until the north wind dies down.  It could be a couple of days.  Until then, sightseers will come to see a very large object where it usually isn't seen.


Curt said...

Heard a brief mention on the radio... thanks for the good report.

Bill said...

That last pic with the two people on the beach really does the best job of conveying how huge that thing is.