950-Foot Coal-Carrying Ship Runs Aground Off Virginia Beach

bulk carrier ship aground va beach.jpg

The Coast Guard— and the rising tide— came to the rescue of a bulk carrier ship that ran aground Thursday morning, about 2.5 miles east of Virginia Beach.

The JSW Salem, a 958-foot bulk carrier, ran aground near Cape Henry Buoy #4, with 120,000 metric tons of coal on board, carrying 26 crew members.

Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads responded to help, both by water and by air. The JSW Salem was able to refloat as the tide rose, and the Coast Guard’s 45-foot Response Boat-Medium escorted the carrier to an anchorage about a mile off of Virginia Beach.

"Our top priority is always the safety of life," said Capt. Kevin Carroll, commander of Sector Hampton Roads.  "Preserving the environment and protecting maritime commerce are also some of our top priorities. We are pleased there were no injuries or pollution reported during this incident."

The Coast Guard is investigating what caused the ship to run aground.

-Meg Walburn Viviano

Bay Bulletin