Quick action after grounding in Savannah prevents disruption

Only quick action by the US Coast Guard and local teams meant that the grounding of a large container ship at the Port of Savannah during the evening of Tuesday June 14th did not lead to significant disruption.

The inbound 8,400 teu Maersk Surabaya (IMO 9330068) was apparently heavily loaded and became stuck on a soft bottom. However, teams responded and were able to free the vessel, which was arriving from Charleston and navigating near a bend in the river when its stern veered toward the riverbank.

Indications were that it had a draft of approximately 40ft at the time of the grounding, a few miles downstream from the port terminal near Fort Jackson. The 32-mile shipping channel was recently deepened to a depth of 47ft, or a maximum of 54ft at high tide. The tide was reportedly coming in at the time, which helped to refloat the vessel.

The Coast Guard created a safety zone around the Maersk Surabay in cooperation with the port pilots. This temporarily closed a portion of the waterway. However, they reported that it did not impact commercial traffic.

Seven tugboats were dispatched and in a coordinated effort were able to reposition the vessel back into the channel. The Maersk Surabaya was refloated approximately two hours after the reports of the grounding. Two tugs kept lines on the vessel and escorted it to the terminal.

There were no injuries or indications of pollution or damage as a result of the grounding. The Marine Safety Unit based in Savannah is investing the cause of the incident.

2006-built, Denmark-flagged, 94,322 gt Maersk Surabaya is owned and managed by Maersk AS of Copenhagen, Denmark. ISM manager is Zeaborn Ship Management of Hamburg, Germany. It is entered with Britannia on behalf of Maersk AS. As of June 16th the vessel was underway at the port of Savannah, heading for New York, ETA June 20th.