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Sunday, May 24, 2020

How a Charleston pizza shop delivered 12 pies to the crew stuck on board a cargo ship in the harbor

“I had no idea how involved I was going to be getting with this adventure”

Posted by Sam Spence on Sun, May 24, 2020 at 9:44 AM

click to enlarge BEN D’ALLESANDRO/PROVIDED
  • Ben D’Allesandro/Provided
On Friday afternoon, Ben D'Allesandro found himself on board a 15-foot boat with 12 pizzas. His task: Delivering pizza to the crew stranded aboard a Liberian-flagged cargo ship anchored in the Charleston Harbor.

Hitching a ride with the local team that has been provisioning the 21 crew on board the Evolution while legal issues are sorted out by the ship’s owners, D’Allesandro didn’t quite know what he was getting into. But he a dozen pies at the ready.

“I took them 12 of our finest pizzas,” said D’Allesandro, who owns D’Allesandro’s Pizza with his brother. A few specialties like Get Gnarly, Beetnick, Spicy Benny and Chauncinator were among the selections, as well as a vegan pizza for the ship’s captain. He threw in a few hats, T-shirts, postcards and stickers for good measure.

click to enlarge BEN D’ALLESANDRO/PROVIDED
  • Ben D’Allesandro/Provided
The D’Al’s team is used to making deliveries along the crowded streets of downtown Charleston, but this one was unique.

“I had no idea how involved I was going to be getting with this adventure,” D’Allesandro said.

Pulling up alongside a 550-foot cargo ship in a small boat in the middle of the rolling harbor is a bit intimidating by itself. But to do it while also helping unload a week’s supply up a moveable set of stairs hanging from the side of the ship is even more challenging. In addition to the pizzas, fresh vegetables, fish, water and other supplies were in Friday’s delivery.

“It was a little sketchy … they usually use a little bigger of a boat, which kind of added some excitement to the whole process,” D’Allesandro said. But the delivery was successful, “Nothing [went] overboard, it was pretty amazing,” he said.
click to enlarge BEN D’ALLESANDRO/PROVIDED
  • Ben D’Allesandro/Provided
Of course, this is not the first time the D’Allesandro brothers have used their pizza powers for good. Recently, the shop has donated pies to local grocery store employees and firefighters at work in the middle of the pandemic. And during the 2019 government shutdown, Ben delivered pizza to TSA agents at Charleston International Airport.

The Evolution has sat in the harbor for nearly four months after being detained by American officials, reportedly tangled in international business disputes. Evolution was sold this past week and its crew is seeking back pay for their time on board, according to The Post and Courier.

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