Suez Canal unblocked: container ship urgently leaves the track

Suez Canal

The giant container ship Ever Given, which had been blocking the Suez Canal for almost a week, was completely floated. As the data of the navigation portals show, the rescuers successfully dragged the ship to the depth and bow. Now it is already completely floating. However, there is no official confirmation of the information yet.

According to navigation portal Vesselfinder, the container ship Ever Given returned to the trajectory of navigation in the Suez Canal after an operation to remove the bow of the vessel from the shallows. This was the second stage. Prior to this, the tugs had removed the stern of the vessel from the shallows, which stood almost perpendicular to the canal. Now the ship, with the help of tugs, is urgently leaving for the lake, which divides the canal into two parts. There, divers will inspect the ship’s hull.

Judging by the data of the navigation portal, at first 16 tugs returned the ship to its original position – dragged back to the other shore astern. The only difference is that dredging vessels have already worked at that point. After that, the container ship was deployed so that it completely stood at depth on the navigation trajectory.

As EADaily previously reported, today, March 29, at 12.30 Moscow time, an operation began to finalize the erosion of the container ship Ever Given. This was announced by the administration of the Suez Canal.

“The operation is planned to resume as the water level rises to the maximum height from 12.30 to 15.00 (Moscow time), which will allow the ship to be fully brought to the navigation route,” the message says.
Suez Canal

At night, 10 tugs led by the approaching vessels Alp Guard and Carlo Magno managed to remove from the shallows the stern of a 400-meter container ship weighing 200 thousand tons. There are 20 thousand containers on board. According to the canal administration, the stern was dragged from the shore by 102 meters.

Prior to this, dredging vessels have selected 27 thousand cubic meters of sand at the bow and stern of the vessel.

Mohab Mamish, an adviser to the Egyptian President on the Suez Canal, said that navigation on the canal is planned to be restored within a week. After removing the Ever Given from the shallows, the container ship will land in the lake, which divides the canal into two parts. There, rescuers will inspect the hull of the ship, the administration specified.

Now more than three hundred ships are standing by the Suez Canal: more than 150 in the Mediterranean Sea, the same number in the Red Sea, and more than 30 in the canal itself. More than a quarter of the vessels are tankers.

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The owner of the container ship called the SMIT Salvage team to help. This is the rescue unit of the Dutch Royal Boskalis Westminster NV, which is 2000 participated in the rescue operation of the Kursk submarine. Together with Mammoet, SMIT specialists raised the submarine from the bottom of the Barents Sea, having previously cut the hull. After that, they transported her to the dock. In 2012, SMIT rescuers were pumping fuel from the Costa Concordia cruise ship, which ran aground in Italy.

The Suez Canal, 193 kilometers long, annually takes over 12% of the world’s trade traffic. It passes 10% of all oil supplies and 8% of LNG.

True, this does not mean that the transit of oil from the Middle East through Egypt has stopped. Most of it is transported from the Red Sea via an oil pipeline to the Mediterranean, where the raw materials are loaded back onto tankers rather than transported through a canal.
Suez Canal

More than half of the tankers now stuck in the channel carry oil products and liquefied petroleum gas. Liquefied gas carriers are also idle in Egypt, carrying LNG from the United States, Qatar, and Egypt.

The Russian LNG tanker Marshal Vasilevsky continues to stand on the Mediterranean side. A ship destined for Kaliningrad is currently transporting cargo from Egypt to Asia.

The missile corvette of the Baltic Fleet “Stoyky” is still waiting for the opening of the channel. He is accompanied by the Kola tanker, which transmits via AIS that it is still at the entrance to the Suez Canal in the Red Sea. The corvette and the tanker took part in exercises in the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean in February and are returning back.

“The accident occurred on Tuesday morning, mainly due to a lack of visibility due to a dust storm, with wind speeds reaching 40 knots. This resulted in the loss of the ability to steer the ship and then drift, ”the Suez Canal Administration said on 24 March. The charterer, Taiwan’s Evergreen Line, reported that the container ship was veering off course due to unexpected high winds. The owner of the vessel, Japan’s Shoei Kisen, has already apologized for blocking the canal, adding that the crew of 25 was not injured and there were no fuel leaks into the canal.