Coast Guard boat and helicopter crews assisted the crew of a coal carrier that ran aground Thursday morning off Virginia Beach, Va.
The 958’x147’x38’ Panama-flagged bulk carrier JSW Salem had departed Baltimore and was outbound from Chesapeake Bay with 120,000 metric tons of coal and 26 people on board when it ran aground near Cape Henry Buoy No. 4, according to the Coast Guard.
The crew notified watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth, Va., and a 45’ response boat medium crew launched from the Coast Guard station at Little Creek, Va. Meanwhile an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was dispatched from the air station at Elizabeth City, N.C., to conduct an overflight of the scene, about 2.5 miles east of Virginia Beach.
The JSW Salem was refloated on the rising tide, and the Coast Guard boat crew escorted the ship to an anchorage one mile from Virginia Beach. An investigation is underway into how the ship grounded.
“Our top priority is always the safety of life,” said Capt. Kevin Carroll, commander of Sector Hampton Roads in a statement on the incident. “Preserving the environment and protecting maritime commerce are also some of our top priorities.” There were no injuries of pollution reported, he said.