Pilot Has License ‘Suspended’ After Vessel Grounding

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Credits: Jason Yuen/Unsplash

A ship captain who grounded the Ever Forward last year on Chesapeake Bay has surrendered his Maryland pilotage license and agreed to never again seek one in the state, reports WMAR2 News.

License suspended

Captain Steven Germac agreed to give up his license in exchange for the Maryland Board of Pilots agreeing not to fine him $2000 or seek other disciplinary action.

As part of the agreement Germac admitted and consented to the Board’s investigative findings that he failed to use all available means to monitor the Ever Forward ship’s position in time to avoid its grounding.

The 1,095-foot container ship was sailing to Norfolk, Virginia from the Port of Baltimore when it became grounded in the Craighill Channel on March 13. It wasn’t until 35 days later that the ship would finally be free.

A $675,000 fine

Crews worked hours upon hours digging the vessel out from 43 feet of mud and removing 500 containers to get it back afloat.

The U.S. Coast Guard in their own report concluded that Germac “placed and received numerous calls, texted messages, and draft emails on their personal cell phone right up until the incident.”

That report led the Board of Pilots to unanimously approve policy changes limiting the use of cellular devices while operating a vessel in the state. Since the incident, the ship’s owner has been fined more than $675,000.

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Source: WMAR2

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