The mammoth cargo ship blocking the Suez Canal has partially surfaced again
Suez, Egypt – The colossal container ship that existedwas partially re-circulated, the Egyptian authorities announced on Monday, but it was unclear when shipping on the critical waterway would resume.
Suez Canal Authority chairman Osama Rabie said in a statement quoted by Agence France-Presse that the Ever Given was “turned 80 percent in the right direction”.
“The stern (was) … 102 meters from the bank,” he said compared to four meters previously.
The process “will continue when the water flow increases again from 11:30 am (5:30 am CET) … in order to make the ship completely afloat again and to reposition it in the middle of the waterway”, it continues.
He said shipping will resume “after the ship is resumed, which will then be directed to the waiting area” so that the canal can be cleared.
The CEO of Smit Salvage’s parent company, which was involved in the effort to free the Ever Given, warned Monday that these efforts would not be “child’s play”. Quoting Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis, the Reuters news agency told Dutch public broadcaster that a new tug would arrive and water would be sent under the bow of the ship to free it. However, if this doesn’t work, some containers on the Ever Given could be removed to lighten it up.
But Mohab Mamish, an adviser to the president on canal projects and a former SCA chief, told CBS News the entire ship is clear and is under scrutiny to see when it can be positioned to clear the congestion it created. He said the mammoth ship was back afloat at 4:30 a.m. local time. Mamish told CNBC Arabia that he expected the Suez to be ready to cross ships at 11 a.m. local time (5 a.m. EDT).
Global marine service provider Inchcape Shipping was the first to announce that Ever Given had been released, also quoting 4:30 a.m. in a tweet. Inchcape said the Ever Given is “secured for now. More information on next steps will come as soon as they are known.” The tweet included a diagram that partially showed the ship straight.
However, canal services company MarineTraffic.com said the Ever Given has been “partially floated” and is still blocking canal traffic, with no further details on when it would be released.
Satellite data from MarineTraffic.com showed that the ship’s bulbous bow, which was once firmly anchored to the east bank of the canal, had been torn from the bank.
Almost a week ago, the Ever Given skyscraper got stuck on the side of the crucial waterway, causing massive traffic jams. The obstacle has held up $ 9 billion in world trade every day and put a strain on supply chains that are already strained by the coronavirus pandemic.
As of Monday, 367 ships carrying everything from crude oil to cattle were waiting to sail through the canal, while dozens more are taking the alternative route around the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa, extending the voyages by two weeks due to impending delivery delays.
The partial liberation of the ship came after an intense effort to push and pull the ship with 10 tugs when the full moon brought the spring tide, Leth Agencies said, raising the canal’s water level in hopes of a breakthrough.
A top canal authority pilot, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to journalists, confirmed that the ship had been partially floated again.
Lieutenant General Osama Rabei, the head of the Suez Canal Authority, said the workers “pulled maneuvers” early Monday to get the ship afloat.
Overnight, several dredgers had tried to suck up 27,000 cubic meters of sand and mud from around the ship. Another powerful tugboat, Carlo Magno, raced to the scene to join the effort.
Although the ship is vulnerable to damage in its current position, Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., the company that owns Ever Given, denied concerns Monday, stating that the ship’s engine is functional and will continue its voyage normally when released could.
The ship operators did not offer a timetable for the reopening of the crucial channel, which carries over 10% of world trade, including 7% of world oil. The unprecedented shutdown could impact oil and gas shipments from the Middle East to Europe.
Canal authorities have desperately tried to free the ship by relying solely on tugs and dredgers, despite analysts warning that a 400-meter-long ship weighing 220,000 tons may be too heavy for such an operation. As the window for breakthrough narrows as the tide recedes this week, fears have grown that authorities may be forced to lighten the ship by removing the ship’s 20,000 containers – a complex operation that requires specialized equipment was not found in Egypt and could take days or days to weeks.
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