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Coast Guard Helps 751-Foot Ship Grounded in Chesapeake Bay

The Coast Guard has stepped in to help a 751-foot ship that ran aground in the lower Chesapeake Bay on Tuesday night. Two others collided and about a dozen other ships were dragging anchor.

The bulk carrier Ornak wasn’t carrying any cargo and had not moved this morning. The Coast Guard was called to bring in tug boats in an effort to help move the ship around high tide at about 9:40 a.m., Petty Officer 1st Class Brandyn Hill, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

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A person walks the beach Wednesday, April 16, 2014, near where the 751-foot bulk carrier is currently grounded. The Coast Guard is helping the situation.

At about 9 a.m., the Coast Guard announced that officials would hold a press conference near the site where the ship was grounded in order to discuss efforts on how to move it.

Hill said there were concerns about the high winds that may hinder efforts for tugboats to get to the scene and move the ship.

The dozen boats that were dragging their anchors also were secure this morning after wind speeds reached as high as 60 to 70mph when storms moved through the Lynnhaven area.

Hill said the Coast Guard received many calls for help Tuesday night. There were no reports of injuries or any pollution as a result of the grounded ship.

According to a news release, the 79-foot rig vessel Petite and the 1,065-foot container ship MSC Charleston collided at about 7:30pm Tuesday night. There were no initial reports of damage and both vessels were able to be safely anchored, pending a Coast Guard investigation.

The Ornak had been anchored at Lynnhaven Anchorage, east of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, when it ran aground at 8:30pm near the 2800 block of Shore Drive. It was found in about 15 feet of water and was not blocking the channel Hill said.

The Coast Guard was working with Virginia and Maryland pilots associations and local tug boats companies to help coordinate assistance to the ships dragging anchor or those requiring tug support.

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