WASHINGTON, April 18 — A massive container ship stranded for a month in the US east coast’s Chesapeake Bay was refloated on Sunday, local media reported. 

The Ever Forward, owned by the Taiwan-based company Evergreen, became lodged in some 20 feet (six meters) of mud a few hundred yards from shore on the night of March 13 after missing a turn into deeper water.

US media reported the ship was dislodged around 7:00am (1100 GMT) Sunday, after nearly 500 of the 5,000 containers on board had been removed to make the vessel lighter and take advantage of the month’s highest tide.

The US Coast Guard had been at work trying to refloat the Ever Forward for weeks, assisted by tugs and dredge boats, as the stricken ship and efforts to release it became a spectacle for sightseers on shore.

The ship, measuring approximately 1,100 feet (335 meters) long and capable of carrying nearly 12,000 containers, is one of many that ply the heavily trafficked waters of the Chesapeake.

The bay is a gigantic estuary — the largest in the US — whose banks harbour both the city of Baltimore and the Port of Virginia, the second- and third-most substantial ports on the US east coast.

The Ever Forward’s misadventure in the Chesapeake is reminiscent of that of the similarly named Ever Given, another Evergreen container ship which famously became stuck in a sandbank in the Suez Canal in March 2021, blocking traffic for almost a week. — AFP