Photos: Containers Hoisted From Dali as Salvage Continues in Baltimore

Dali container removal
First of the boxes were removed from the containership as the salvage proceeds (USCG)

Published Apr 8, 2024 10:05 AM by The Maritime Executive


The first of the containers were removed from the bow of the m/v Dali on Sunday, April 7, in Baltimore. The Unified Command headed by the U.S. Coast Guard released pictures reporting the operation is a critical step toward the salvage of the vessel and the reopening of Baltimore’s channel.

“Removing containers allows for safe access to then remove the pieces of the Key Bridge that lie across the ship’s bow, taking weight off the ship, and ultimately allowing for the movement of the ship,” they said in the end-of-day status update. They did not report how many containers were removed or how many they planned to take off the ship at this stage of the operation.

The pictures show the challenges faced by the teams working on the vessel. They had pre-positioned a floating crane in front of the vessel at the end of last week and reported that two cranes would be assigned to the task. Crews have to repel and climb the containers to attach the hoist connections to each box. They are being lifted and placed on a barge. The barges will ultimately land the containers, but they did not report if they would be moving them back to the terminal from where the ship sailed or if they might take them to the Tradepoint Atlantic terminal which is outside the bridge wreckage and continues to operate receiving vessels.



Making the operation more challenging for the crews some of the boxes were destabilized when the bridge collapsed on the bow of the ship while others were damaged and some ripped open. The National Transportation Safety Board reported there were 56 containers classified as transporting hazardous materials, including chemicals, paint, and batteries. At least some of the damaged boxes held hazardous materials.

Synergy Marine which manages the vessel initially reported there were 4,679 TEU aboard, likely the count for laden boxes on a vessel that has a capacity for approximately 10,000 TEU. The vessel was under time charter to Maersk and both Maersk and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company confirmed they had loaded customers’ boxes on the vessel. As the vessel was starting its return trip to Asia, it was likely transporting empties.



Salvors removed containers from the Dali as part of the effort to gain access to the portion of the Key Bridge that lies atop the ship. The transfer of containers from the Dali will continue in the coming days, as weather permits, according to the Unified Command.

In the next phase, they expect to begin to remove the pieces of the bridge and roadway lying on the bow of the ship. Last week, divers also surveyed the underwater sections of the hull inspecting for damage and determining the exact locations where the ship is aground.