More than 20 crew members still trapped on cargo ship 7 weeks after Baltimore bridge collapse

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Amidst the lingering aftermath of a tragic collision that marooned the Dali - the towering container ship that collided with a Baltimore bridge - with nearly two dozen sailors stranded aboard.

In the early hours of March 26, tragedy rocked the city of Baltimore when the 984-foot-long cargo ship struck a pillar of the Francis Scott Key Bridge approximately 30 minutes after embarking on its 27-day voyage to Sri Lanka while laden with cargo. 

The incident resulted in the deaths of six construction workers, and sparked a recovery and clean-up effort that has continued for the last seven weeks.

On Monday, a controlled explosion rocked the Dali as crews work to clear the debris. However, many people may be unaware that nearly two dozen sailors remain on board the marooned vessel, below deck.

The tragedy resulted in the deaths of 6 construction workers. Credit: Kevin Dietsch / Getty

As BBC News reports, 21 sailors now find themselves navigating the bureaucratic labyrinth of visa restrictions amid the ongoing investigation into the tragedy by both the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and FBI.

Joshua Messick, the executive director of the Baltimore International Seafarers' Center, says the crew - made up of 20 Indians and a Sri Lankan national - have had their cell phones confiscated by the FBI, leaving them cut off from their families.

21 Crew members still remain on board the vessel. Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty

In a joint statement on May 11, the Singapore Maritime Officers' Union and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen said that "morale has understandably dipped" among the crew.

Despite the adversity, a glimmer of humanity shines through, as community groups have supplied care packages laden with homemade quilts and Indian snacks. They have also received SIM cards and temporary cell phones, Messick said.

Messick adds that he is hopeful that he will soon be allowed onboard to provide "emotional support", and that he is hopeful the crew will also receive shore passes (with heavy restrictions attached).

He's even gone as far as to reach out to a local cricket club as a means of entertainment if the crew is allowed off.

Monday's explosion. Credit: Kevin Dietsch / Getty

Monday's controlled explosion - which had been delayed due to adverse weather conditions - was the latest in an effort to clear the way of the busy shipping lane.

The explosion sent around 4,000 tonnes of debris into the depths of the Patapsco River.

Featured image credit: Kevin Dietsch / Getty

More than 20 crew members still trapped on cargo ship 7 weeks after Baltimore bridge collapse

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Amidst the lingering aftermath of a tragic collision that marooned the Dali - the towering container ship that collided with a Baltimore bridge - with nearly two dozen sailors stranded aboard.

In the early hours of March 26, tragedy rocked the city of Baltimore when the 984-foot-long cargo ship struck a pillar of the Francis Scott Key Bridge approximately 30 minutes after embarking on its 27-day voyage to Sri Lanka while laden with cargo. 

The incident resulted in the deaths of six construction workers, and sparked a recovery and clean-up effort that has continued for the last seven weeks.

On Monday, a controlled explosion rocked the Dali as crews work to clear the debris. However, many people may be unaware that nearly two dozen sailors remain on board the marooned vessel, below deck.

The tragedy resulted in the deaths of 6 construction workers. Credit: Kevin Dietsch / Getty

As BBC News reports, 21 sailors now find themselves navigating the bureaucratic labyrinth of visa restrictions amid the ongoing investigation into the tragedy by both the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and FBI.

Joshua Messick, the executive director of the Baltimore International Seafarers' Center, says the crew - made up of 20 Indians and a Sri Lankan national - have had their cell phones confiscated by the FBI, leaving them cut off from their families.

21 Crew members still remain on board the vessel. Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty

In a joint statement on May 11, the Singapore Maritime Officers' Union and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen said that "morale has understandably dipped" among the crew.

Despite the adversity, a glimmer of humanity shines through, as community groups have supplied care packages laden with homemade quilts and Indian snacks. They have also received SIM cards and temporary cell phones, Messick said.

Messick adds that he is hopeful that he will soon be allowed onboard to provide "emotional support", and that he is hopeful the crew will also receive shore passes (with heavy restrictions attached).

He's even gone as far as to reach out to a local cricket club as a means of entertainment if the crew is allowed off.

Monday's explosion. Credit: Kevin Dietsch / Getty

Monday's controlled explosion - which had been delayed due to adverse weather conditions - was the latest in an effort to clear the way of the busy shipping lane.

The explosion sent around 4,000 tonnes of debris into the depths of the Patapsco River.

Featured image credit: Kevin Dietsch / Getty