‘Ever Given’, Stuck in Suez Canal, Almost Fully Refloated: Report
A week after getting stuck in the Suez Canal, the giant ship ‘Ever Given’ was almost fully refloated on Monday.
A week after getting stuck in the Suez Canal, the giant ship ‘Ever Given’ was almost fully refloated on Monday, 29 March, and its engines have been restarted, Reuters reported, quoting a source.
According to the chief of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), it will take 3.5 days to clear Suez logjam once the ‘Ever Given’ is refloated.
The 400-metre ship has reportedly been straightened and inspections will be carried out before it is moved, two sources told Reuters.
The Japanese company which owns the ship Shoei Kisen Kaisha also said that the Ever Given 'has turned' but is not afloat, AFP reported.
The ship had been "stuck at an angle of 30 degrees towards the canal, but that has eased," an official said, according to AFP.
Earlier in the day, maritime services provider Inchcape Shipping Services said in a statement on Twitter that the ship had been successfully refloated and was being secured at the moment.
Meanwhile, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chief Osama Rabie said, the ship has been reoriented 80 percent in the right direction, adding that efforts to refloat it will resume on the next high tide.
“The refloating process will resume when water flow increases again from 11:30 local time... in order to completely refloat the vessel, so as to reposition it in the middle of the waterway,” the statement from SCA said, according to AFP.
Egypt’s Leth Agencies took to Twitter to announce that the ship had been partially refloated, pending final official confirmation from SCA.
On Sunday, Reuters reported that authorities said that sustained efforts to dislodge the ship had “allowed its stern and rudder to move”.
In an effort to dislodge the ship, more than 20,000 tons of sand had been removed on Saturday, 27 March, and around 14 tugboats pulled and pushed the ship.
At least 321 vessels are currently jammed around Egypt's Suez Canal as efforts are underway to refloat the giant cargo ship that has disrupted traffic on one of the world's busiest trade routes, according to a top official.
Sandstorm or Technical Errors?
Reports initially said that the 224,000-ton Panama-flagged ‘Ever Given’ was grounded on 23 March in the canal after losing the ability to steer amid high winds and a sandstorm, which led the SCA to announce on Thursday, 25 March, temporary suspension of navigation in the man-made waterway.
However, the Suez Canal authorities are now investigating whether strong winds were the only cause that led the ‘Ever Given’ to wedge itself between the six kilometer-long canal that links the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea.
According to the BBC, General Osama Rabie, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority said that weather conditions may not have been the “main reasons”, while adding that "There may have been technical or human errors."
(With inputs from BBC, AFP and Reuters.)
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