THE now infamous Dali has left Baltimore for Virginia where it will undergo further salvage work and repairs, as Federal investigators hone their focus onboard.

The Singaporean-flagged container ship, which suffered a catastrophic collision in March this year with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, departed the Seagirt Marine Terminal where it has remained since being freed from bridge wreckage and river mud on 20 May.

Dali began transit Monday [24 June] US local time with the assistance of four tugs, and will sail the 197 nautical miles to Norfolk, stopping first in Portsmouth, Virginia for discharge. 

The US Coast Guard said the 9662 TEU ship was scheduled to transit directly to Virginia International Gateway to have roughly 1500 cargo containers offloaded to reduce draft.

“The vessel is then scheduled to transit further to Norfolk International Terminal, where it is slated to undergo continued salvage and repairs from damage caused during the bridge collapse.”

The 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Sailfish patrol boat will provide a 457 metre safety zone around Dali during transit, with the vessel to sail under its own power, manned by a full crew of 22.

Four of Dali’s crew will stay onboard during transit to Norfolk, after which they will join the other seven officers and crew in local shore accommodation, where they are required to stay in the US indefinitely pending determinations over the cause of the 26 March allision.

However, last week ten crew members were allowed to depart the US following an agreement approved by a federal judge, under the condition they remain available for potential depositions related to the incident.

The updates come as the National Transportation Safety Board zeroes in on what caused Dali to lose power before crashing into the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

An update from the NTSB on Monday stated that investigators had completed onboard examinations of engineering systems and testing of electrical components.

Per the NTSB, “While examining and testing the vessel’s electrical power distribution system and control circuitry, NTSB investigators (in coordination with vessel crew and parties to the investigation) noted an interruption in the control circuit for HR1’s undervoltage release”.

The agency said they had removed several electrical components for examination at the NTSB Materials Laboratory. The findings are not conclusive however, and the investigation to uncover the probable cause of Dali’s power failure continues.

The 300-metre vessel, under charter to Maersk and managed by Singapore’s Synergy, lost power while transiting out of the Port of Baltimore on 26 March, after which it collided with the Francis Scott Key bridge, causing it to collapse. Six construction workers who were on the bridge at the time died in the incident.