Ever Given has been dislodged and is on its way to Great Bitter Lake for inspection.
In my initial report on the Suez Canal crisis, I reported that while the Egyptians were optimistic, the famous waterway could be reopened by this weekend.
And while the Egyptians missed the weekend mark, it appears that the work crews have now dislodged the Ever Given.
Work crews have successfully refloated the jammed container ship in Egypt’s Suez Canal, one of the world’s most vital trade waterways, the canal’s service provider said Monday.
The Suez Canal Authority said the 200,000-ton, 1,300-foot Ever Given cargo ship was freed from the shoreline in the canal after nearly a week. The Ever Given is one of the largest cargo ships in the world.
The SCA told CNN the Ever Given had been fully dislodged and images posted online showed the vessel on the move.
“This was the result of successful push and tow maneuvers which led to the restoration,” the SCA said in a statement.
The ship is currently on its way to Great Bitter Lake, where it will undergo a technical inspection. Traffic in the canal is slowly resuming.
“Today, the Egyptians have succeeded in ending the crisis of the delinquent ship in the Suez Canal despite the tremendous technical complexity that surrounded this process from every side,” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said Monday in a tweet.
The ship’s refloating means traffic can resume in the Suez Canal. Nearly 19,000 ships passed through the canal during 2020, for an average of 51.5 per day, according to the Suez Canal Authority.
More than 350 vessels are currently waiting on either side of the Canal, according to estimates from Leth Agencies. This includes container ships, bulk carriers and oil tankers.
Further investigation in the past few days uncovered new information that reveals that human error may have contributed to the crisis.
The massive container ship that is blocking the Suez Canal may have run aground because of human error, not a strong windstorm, Egyptian officials said this weekend.
Initial reports said the 1,300-foot, 200,000-ton Ever Given got wedged in the shipping channel because of high winds and a sandstorm that affected visibility.
But the head of the Suez Canal Authority now says weather conditions were “not the main reasons” for the ship’s grounding.
“There may have been technical or human errors,” the canal authority’s Chairman Osama Rabie told reporters Saturday, without giving more details, the BBC reported.
“All of these factors will become apparent in the investigation.”
Interestingly, the press focused on corporate losses and toilet-paper-shortages and mostly ignored the seafarers and crews onboard the stranded or diverted ships. The impact on professional mariners, who are on those ships for months at a time, is not insignificant.
“As far as seafarers are considered, they have been neglected by all parties. Sometimes when things affect trade and commerce, then they realise that it is affecting us. When they see that trade and commerce are not affected, they don’t consider the humanitarian aspects,” [Anurag Chaudhary, a maritime officer currently onboard a ship bound for the Red Sea] rued.
Chaudhary stressed that the seafarers now simply want to return home after completing their work.
The worst part, he said, is that the other parties involved do not care and are not taking the issue seriously .“We are the most important link to making the trade and commerce possible.”
Chaudhary, who himself has been aboard the ship for five months, said that he has been able to touch base with his family and appraise them of his situation.
The captains and crews of the delayed ships appear to be headed to their next port for now.DONATE
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