PORTSMOUTH, Va. -- The Coast Guard is in the final stages of reviewing a salvage plan Thursday that is scheduled to begin Friday morning to move the 751-foot bulk carrier, Ornak, that is aground near First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, Va. "Moving a vessel of this size off the beach is a complicated and dynamic operation, requiring close coordination of multiple stakeholders," said Capt. John Little, the Captain of the Port of Hampton Roads. "We are eager to have the vessel removed from Virginia Beach and returned to service while ensuring that it represents no hazard to the port or the environment." Ballast water will begin to be pumped off the vessel Friday morning and tug boats will attempt to remove the vessel at high tide, which is at approximately 10:45 a.m.
Once the vessel is freed, it will be moved to Lynnhaven Anchorage for a hull inspection to be completed by a dive team. Once the ship is deemed safe, the Coast Guard will remove the captain of the port restrictions and allow the vessel to be put back into service.