Coast Guard Thwarts Disaster as Ship Charges Toward Charleston Bridge

The Arthur Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina, had a scare when a container ship lost control of its engines and was speeding toward the bridge. The U.S. Coast Guard quickly sprang into action, coordinating with local partners to clear vessel traffic and ensure the safety of the public. They also worked with local police departments to stop traffic on the bridge and evacuate Fort Moultrie Beach as a precaution.

The 997-foot, 74,000-ton ship, the MSC Michigan, was reportedly moving at 14 to 17 knots, and its rapid movement caused injuries to two recreational boaters when its wake pushed their boat onto the rocks. Thankfully, they were rescued and taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The situation was jarring for those in the vicinity of the bridge. Cyclist Lisa Riente recalled how police stopped her on the bridge, instructing her to leave her bike and get in their car. She described the experience as “kind of scary” and shared her efforts to warn other pedestrians about the out-of-control ship.

The Charleston Police Chief confirmed that the Ravenel Bridge did not sustain any damage from the incident, and the ship’s crew was able to resolve the issue with the engine control. The ship was safely anchored about 8.5 nautical miles offshore.

The Coast Guard continues to investigate the incident, and they have praised the intense partnership and coordination with maritime and law enforcement partners that ensured the situation turned out well.

This situation serves as a reminder of the importance of securing major bridges and ensuring the safety of the public when such incidents occur. The immediate response and coordination of the U.S. Coast Guard and local partners helped avert a potential disaster and safeguard the lives of those in the vicinity of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge.

Written by Staff Reports

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