Today's edition of The Virginian-Pilot reports on the readiness of the Port of Virginia to receive cargo ships being diverted from Baltimore after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed early Tuesday morning when it was struck by the container ship, Dali. The article Port of Virginia expects to receive some Baltimore ship traffic after bridge collapse, official says, by Trevor Metcalfe, quotes Willcox Savage Maritime Practice Group attorney David Sump regarding local waters piloting procedure, the impact of a power outage, and navigation and characteristics of the regional waters: 

David Sump, a Norfolk maritime attorney at Willcox Savage who spent 18 years in the Coast Guard, said in both Maryland and Virginia, all foreign cargo vessels are guided by pilots — trusted maritime experts who know the local waterways.

However, if the vessel lost power, crews could lose control of both the engine and potentially the rudder, he said. Sump said a video shows all the lights on the Dali go out shortly before the impact.

“You not only cannot stop the vessel but you may have difficulty steering the vessel,” Sump said.

The bridge-tunnels in Hampton Roads allow a wider space for cargo ships to maneuver through the waterways to access the port terminals, Sump said. Still, the region has a few bridges ships pass under, like the James River Bridge connecting Newport News and Isle of Wight County.

David has represented marine terminals in all aspects of marine operations as well as cargo disputes and riparian rights issues for over twenty years. He is acknowledged as one of the leading attorneys in marine pollution and riparian rights and is experienced in state and federal procurement/contract claims and protests. Prior to entering private practice, David served for fourteen years as a commissioned officer and law specialist in the United States Coast Guard, eventually reaching the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Other News Featuring David Sump:

Maritime Attorney Dave Sump Speaks on High Seas Treaty

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