Crane Positioned to Lift Boxes as Divers Survey Dali for Salvage Plan

crane at bow of Dali
One of the two cranes assigned to the task of removing containers from the bow of the Dali (Baltimore Country Police Department)

Published Apr 5, 2024 2:25 PM by The Maritime Executive


Dive teams are focusing on surveys of the containership Dali to support the planning for the recovery of the vessel. At the same time, the Unified Command reports that assets are being positioned to begin the delicate operation of removing undamaged containers from the bow of the vessel.

Photos show that one large crane has now been positioned near the bow of the vessel. The Unified Command reports that two of the cranes onsite at the recovery operation have been assigned to move containers from the bow of the vessel.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore announced Wednesday night that the Unified Command was staged to begin lifting the containers. No timeline has been released though for when the container operation would begin.



Teams need to stabilize and clear boxes from the bow of the Dali to get access to the embedded steel and roadway (USCG photos)


Speaking at the daily press conferences, Rear Admiral Shannon Gilbreath, who Commands the USCG 5th District reported that they were preparing to safely remove the boxes. He said it was necessary for crews to be able to gain access to the portions of the bridge that are embedded into the ship. Gilbreath however reporters that they would need a “window of good weather” to conduct the operations to remove containers from the ship.

The extent of the damage to the bow of the vessel as well as the destabilized container stacks are visible in photos from the site. Some of the boxes are ripped open but the first concern seems to be on the boxes that are leaning and raising danger for the crews that need to access the bow of the vessel. The process of removing the boxes however is a difficult one as was demonstrated two years ago in April 2022 when boxes were removed in a lightering operation on the Ever Forward which grounded south of Baltimore. Crews need to reach each box to secure lines to the crane for the lifting operation, and then they will be lowered to a barge alongside the ship.


The vessel's hull is resting on the bridge footings in addition where portions of the bridge steel are embedded in the hull (USACE photo)


Yesterday and again today divers contracted under the U.S. Navy’s supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) have been surveying the hull of the Dali.

“The divers’ primary objectives are to assess any damage sustained by the vessel and pinpoint the exact locations where it is grounded,” according to a spokesperson from the Unified Command.

The leaders of the team report that this information is being used to develop the salvage plan for the safe recovery of the vessel.