Prior to bridge collision, pilots sent out ‘mayday,’ which may have saved lives

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By SARAH RODERICK-FITCH

Intentionality is not believed the cause of a Singapore company’s cargo ship hitting Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge in the early morning hours Tuesday, authorities said today.

In a morning press conference, Maryland Gov. West Moore said it appears the ship lost power and “preliminary evidence points to an accident.”

Moore added that a local crew was piloting the crew of the Southeast Asian-bound ship, the Dali, to help navigate it through the port at the time of the collision.

Prior to the collision, the ship’s crew sent out a “mayday” alerting authorities to lost power, allowing transportation and law enforcement to stop the flow of traffic onto the bridge, which Gov. Moore credits for saving countless lives. 

“These people are heroes,” Moore lamented.

Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul J. Weidefeld told reporters that construction workers were “inspecting potholes on the bridge” at the time of the collision. He said their presence “had nothing to do with the structure of the bridge.”

Moore added that the “bridge was fully up to code” at the time of the crash.

Baltimore County Fire Chief James Wallace said there are six people unaccounted for, who they believe to be construction crew. Sonar has located vehicles in the water, but authorities don’t believe people are in those vehicles. It was unclear if those vehicles belonged to the construction crew or travelers across the bridge.

Weidefeld said more than 30,000 people a day use the I-695 connector on the southeastern side of Baltimore. Speaking less than 10 hours after the collapse, Moore had no timeline for when shipping will be resumed, or estimated costs associated with the loss of the bridge.

During an earlier press conference, Wallace confirmed one person had been transported to the hospital in serious condition, and one person refused medical attention.

President Joe Biden said he and his administration have been briefed and are offering assistance.

“This morning, I convened senior members of my team for a briefing on the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge,” the president’s team posted on his social media channels. “I’ve directed my administration to ensure every federal resource is available to assist search and rescue efforts and response to this terrible incident.”

Moore and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott each declared a state of emergency. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has offered federal assistance while neighboring Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has also offered to help.

31 COMMENTS

  1. I spent about 30,000 hours as a Duty Officer in CG Command Centers, Joint Harbor Ops Centers. Loss of propulsion is more common that some would realize. It’s almost a daily occurrence in the busier ports like LA/LB, SF, NY/NJ. Ships are now required to transition to a low sulfur fuel when entering/departing U.S. Ports, and it doesn’t always go according to plan, which leads to a loss of the engineering plant. Not saying this is what happened here, but it does happen.

    When ships loss power in areas like this with shallow water, they will drop their anchors to arrest the ship. Why didn’t this ship drop their anchors. Maybe they didn’t have time, or their winches weren’t operational due to the plant going cold?

  2. FJB signing taxpayers up to pay for the bridge hit by a ship instead of insurance company to try to buy votes and look like he is on it and taking action.

  3. It was mechanical failure and bad weather (strong wind).

    Far as I can tell, the crew acted appropriately and professionally. Sometimes bad things happen.

  4. Let me guess- this is a Democrat stronghold right? Because Biden and Butgig are all over this and Joe says the feds will foot the whole bill for the bridges replacement. Immediate response by Joe within hours.

    • Maryland? God yes. Charles Manson would get elected there if he ran as a Democrat.

      Baltimore is famous for the corruption of its mayors.

  5. Why did Grandpa Bloodstains commit all of us to completely rebuild a Maryland bridge? Doesn’t Maryland have a dog in this fight?

    Why are we paying the full freight?

    Grandpa Bloodstains must be feeling desperate for good press to run on.

    • It’s (almost) all about counting to 270. Retain power by any and all means necessary. There is some unease in Maryland about Larry Hogan’s campaign for the open Senate seat. It’s also close to the Delaware compound and the beach house and the Corvette.

    • Because the entire country benefits from the Interstate system, and so do you. We’re all in this together. I suppose you’ll also protest against funding schools if you don’t have kids that attend.

      There is something called the “common good”, the value of which far exceeds your narrow parochial interest.

        • One of the details I left out is the fact that it’s a toll bridge funding the state of Maryland.

          I was curious how far the usual suspects would run without it.

          Apparently to Pluto.

      • Every time I think you’ve hit the bottom, you get out a shovel and start digging.
        It’s not what you don’t know, it’s you revel in not knowing. Sometimes you almost have a clue, but then Hans the hell out of it.

        You love to assume you know me, my motives, my goals. But then you post and prove yourself clueless, but possibly infatuated with me. Sorry, son. Not gonna happen.

        The purpose of the interstate system is to effectively move military assets around the country. Everything else is incidental. That includes goods, services, personal trips. Far, far, far more goods move by rail than highway.

        Everything else you imply doesn’t merit response.

        Go find your local Carrs or Three Bears. There’s a candy aisle overdue for a toddler to have a tantrum. Don’t keep them waiting.

      • Hans – In your world the “common good” only applies to Democrats. It took almost a year for Biden to visit the East Palestine train wreck & Transportation Secretary Buttiged was slow to open the Federal purse to residents who are still suffering the ill effects of the catastrophe. Isn’t our railway system part of the nation’s infrastucture?

  6. This just in… Within hours of the incident, the Biden administration condemned “assault” Cargo ships and vowed to work tirelessly to ban them from further use…

  7. Errata:

    In a collision, two moving objects strike each other; for example, two passing ships. An allision, however, involves an accident where only one of the objects is moving. This maritime term is used to refer to an accident where a moving boat runs into a stationary bridge fender.

  8. The proper mechanism for funding repairs is a collaborative effort from the city, state, the ship’s insurance, and SOME from the federal government.

  9. If that’s the case Hans, it just makes it easier to determine who’s at fault – obviously the moving object.
    As to the common good, fixing it yes. Who pays? Thanks to your intellectual capacity Hans, we determine that….its the moving object.

  10. That bridge collapsed faster than Trump U, Trump steaks, Trump Airlines, Trump Casinos, and of course the Trump Presidency.

    • That bridge went down faster than a hooker on Hunter Biden.
      That Bridge went down faster than a Ukrainian prosecutor.
      That bridge went down faster than Kamala on Willie Brown.

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