Bulker hits buoy, runs aground after losing propulsion in Virginia river

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(PORTSMOUTH, Va.) — The Coast Guard is monitoring a 586-foot Thai-flagged cargo vessel that ran aground off Sewells Point in Norfolk, Va., on Thursday.

Watch standers at the Sector Hampton Roads Command Center in Portsmouth received a call at 12:50 p.m. that the bulk cargo ship Mallika Naree lost propulsion in the Elizabeth River, struck buoy No. 5 and ran soft aground outside the channel.

At about 1 p.m., 45-foot response boat-medium and 29-foot response boat-small crews from Coast Guard Station Portsmouth and a boat crew from Aids to Navigation Team Hampton Roads were launched.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., was diverted at 1:20 p.m. to conduct an overflight assessment of the surrounding area.

No signs of pollution were detected. No injuries were reported, and the vessel is not taking on water.

Also on scene were crews from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and the Norfolk Fire Department.

Commercial tugboats arrived on scene and moved the cargo vessel to a nearby anchorage in the Elizabeth River, where it is safely anchored.

Mallika Naree is carrying cement and steel.

"The Coast Guard and its partners train every day to respond to events like this," said Coast Guard Cdr. Kenneth Kostecki, chief of prevention, Sector Hampton Roads. "Because of this preparedness, we were able to get on scene quickly and assess the situation, preventing further issues in the port. We will continue to monitor the situation so as to assure the environment and shipping will not be adversely affected."

By Professional Mariner Staff