Grounded ship released into open water

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The cargo ship that ran aground last week has finally been cleared by the Coast Guard to continue on its way.

The Ornak rolled in to shallow waters during 70mph winds associated with last week’s major thunderstorm. Tug boats pulled it from the Chesapeake Bay on Friday and it hit the open water Wednesday.

“The ship was unable to conduct the survey at Lynnhaven,” said Captain John Little. “It was just too rough out there. The winds continued to kick from the north and it was just too strong.”

So Captain Little says it moved on to Lamberts Point, in the Elizabeth River near the Midtown Tunnel, for the weekend where an underwater survey was finally able to take place. The dive report just came in, and luckily, the only damage found was paint scrapings at the bottom of the hull.

Chopper 10 flew over the Elizabeth River Wednesday as the Ornak left port.

But the Coast Guard’s work isn’t done. During the thunderstorm last week, wind gusts caused many other ships to drag anchor or collide.

“The Coast Guard is still looking into the events that lead to that as well as courses of collision that occurred in Thimble Shoals Channel during that storm,” Captain Little said.

He said the two ships that collided during the height of the storm have also been released.

WAVY.com asked about damage claims from a nearby business about fishing impoundments, and Little said the boat’s agents and the shellfish company are now working that out.

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