The Hong Dai sits aground a quarter mile Northwest of Sewell's Point near Norfolk, Virginia, October 1. Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard.

738-Ft. Cargo Ship Runs Aground in Norfolk

A nearly-740 foot cargo ship ran aground just a quarter-mile off of Norfolk, prompting the Coast Guard and the Port of Virginia’s Maritime Incident Response Team to rush to the scene.

The Hong Dai, 738-foot bulk coal carrier carrying a Panamanian flag, ran aground on the soft sandy bottom just northwest of Sewell’s Point on Wednesday night.

At the time, it had 22 crewmembers aboard and was carrying a cargo of coal, 188,000 gallons of low sulfur fuel oil, diesel, and lube oil.

USCG Sector Virginia investigators boarded the ship Thursday morning and are helping to assess damages and the threat of pollution. The ship’s crew didn’t initially report any injuries, pollution or flooding concerns.

It took seven tugs to refloat the Hong Dai with the hight tide on Friday morning. Late Friday it remained at anchor under a Captain of the Port order to restrict its movement until the company does an underwater survey and the vessel is deemed safe to sail.

-Meg Walburn Viviano