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Temporary Baltimore channel closes as focus turns to Dali removal

Permanent channel on track to reopen by end of May

Authorities closed the temporary Fort McHenry channel that opened on Thursday as efforts shift to remove the Dali. The channel’s opening allowed for most vessels that were stranded at the port since March 26 to depart

THE US Coast Guard closed the Fort McHenry Limited Access Channel on Monday, as efforts turned to the removal of Dali (IMO: 9697428) from beneath the Key Bridge’s wreckage.

The channel was open for five days to allow temporary access to and from terminals located north of the bridge, which was hit by the Synergy Marine-managed, Maersk-chartered, 9,900 teu Dali on March 26. 

The channel’s opening on Thursday allowed vessels that were stranded in Baltimore since the crisis to finally depart.

The departing vessels included Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s 5,200 ceu large car and truck carrier Carmen (IMO: 9505027) and 15,000 dwt bitumen tanker Palanca Rio (IMO: 9747998), while MSC Passion III (IMO: 9399765) was the first containership to arrive at Baltimore’s Seagirt Terminal since the crisis began.

Meanwhile, two panamax bulkers, Klara Oldendorff (IMO: 9849007) and JY River (IMO: 9845269), have been moored at Baltimore since the end of March, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence vessel-tracking data.

The Fort McHenry channel is expected to reopen on May 10, the port of Baltimore said on X, while the main channel is on track to reopen by the end of May.

The three other temporary channels, with depths of 6.09 metres, 4.26 m and 3.35 m, will remain open.

The USCG-led Unified Command said on Friday that 137 containers of the estimated 180 necessary to access the portion of the Key Bridge sitting on top of Dali were removed.

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