CHESAPEAKE BAY STATE, USA — The U.S. Coast Guard just shared its findings from when the Ever Forward container ship got stuck in the Chesapeake Bay earlier this year -- essentially saying it ran aground because its pilot wasn't paying attention.
The report also pointed to "inadequate bridge resource management" as a contributing factor.
The cargo ship was carrying almost 5,000 containers on March 13, and was headed from Baltimore to Norfolk when it got stuck in the Craighill Channel.
It took more than a month for crews to pry the ship out of the mud and send it back up to Annapolis, Maryland.
The Coast Guard reports safety problems on a "Findings of Concern" website. For this case, the findings showed that the Ever Forward's pilot was making calls, sending texts and writing emails on his personal phone during the trip, and was letting the Portable Pilot Unit (PPU) navigate the ship.
While the pilot was writing an email, the time came to turn the boat, but he or she didn't notice.
Some of the crew on the bridge had just been relieved to go eat dinner. The relief team did send messages up to the pilot about the ship's heading, but "by the time the bridge team became more assertive about the ship’s heading, it was too late."
They sailed through the place they should have turned, and ran aground.
In the report that came from investigating the situation, the Coast Guard writes that they could prevent any similar problems by clearly defining when crew members are allowed to use their cell phones.