Ship Blocking Suez Canal Moves Slightly, Refloat Timeline Unclear

Authorities said that while sustained efforts to dislodge the ship had “allowed it stern rudder to move”

Published
World
2 min read
A cargo container ship that’s among the largest in the world has turned sideways and blocked all traffic in Egypt’s Suez Canal.
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Almost a week after a massive container brought traffic on the Suez Canal to a standstill, authorities said that while sustained efforts to dislodge the ship had “allowed it stern rudder to move,” it remains unclear when the vessel will be able to refloat completely, reported Reuters.

Initial reports suggested 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 temporary suspension of navigation in the man-made waterway.

Efforts to Dislodge Ship Underway

  • 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. Despite efforts, the ship had only managed to move 30 degrees in two directions.
  • At least 321 vessels are currently jammed around Egypt's Suez Canal as efforts are underway to refloat a giant cargo ship that has run aground and disrupted traffic on one of the world's busiest trade routes, according to a top official.

However, the Suez Canal authorities are investigating whether strong winds were the only cause that led 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 Reuters, IANS and BBC.)

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