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Tags: south carolina | arthur ravenel bridge | vessel | charleston | investigating | u.s. coast guard

Adrift Ship Forces Closure of South Carolina Bridge

By    |   Thursday, 06 June 2024 10:46 AM EDT

The U.S. Coast Guard was investigating how a large shipping vessel lost control of its engines in Charleston Harbor on Wednesday, prompting a temporary closure of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge.

Charleston Harbor Pilot Dispatch alerted the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Command Center in Charleston that a ship went adrift in the Cooper River at about 12:17 p.m., according to WCBD in Charleston.

Deputy Commander Randy Preston told reporters that the vessel, MSC Michigan 7, was a 997-foot, 74,000-ton container ship headed to Savannah, Georgia.

"The pilot on board indicated the vessel lost ability to control the engines and they were stuck nearly full-ahead with the vessel making between 14 to 17 knots," Preston said. "Throttles were near-full forward and could not be moved out of that position."

Video showed the massive ship headed toward the bridge and traffic backed up on either side of the freeway. The Arthur Ravenel Bridge connects the Charleston peninsula to Mount Pleasant via U.S. Route 17 and is a popular destination for joggers and bikers due its well protected multi-use path.

Lisa Riente was riding her bike over the bridge when officers ordered her to drop her bike and get into their patrol car.

"I threw my bike down, grabbed my phone, and jumped in the back of the police car with a couple of other pedestrians and it was kind of scary," she told reporters. "We were going across the bridge trying to get other pedestrians and warn them that there was an out-of-control boat headed towards the bridge."

The incident followed the devastating crash of a shipping vessel that lost power before it struck Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore in March, killing six road construction workers.

Engineers said the Ravenel Bridge has a different design and could withstand a blow similar to the one that took down Francis Scott Key Bridge, but they still took precautions.

Charleston Police Chief Chito Walker said the bridge was not damaged. A Coast Guard team of investigators was assigned to examine the vessel.

James Morley III

James Morley III is a writer with more than two decades of experience in entertainment, travel, technology, and science and nature. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The U.S. Coast Guard was investigating how a large shipping vessel lost control of its engines in Charleston Harbor on Wednesday, prompting a temporary closure of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge.
south carolina, arthur ravenel bridge, vessel, charleston, investigating, u.s. coast guard
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2024-46-06
Thursday, 06 June 2024 10:46 AM
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