Ever Given Ship Is Still Stuck In Suez Canal
The container ship that has spent days clogging up the Suez Canal is still stuck, despite earlier reports that it had finally been freed.
The Ever Given ship became lodged in the waterway last week after being blown sideways by strong winds, causing a traffic jam of hundreds of boats on one of the world’s busiest trade routes and causing £6.5 billion of global trade to be delayed every day.
After days of attempting to clear land around the vessel, it was partially refloated this morning, March 29, when the 220,000-ton ship was turned ‘80% in the right direction’, meaning its stern was no longer blocking the entire canal.
However, salvage workers have pointed out that the bow of the ship is still stuck in the canal bank, and that straightening the boat was actually the simplest part.
Peter Berdowski, head of the salvage firm hired to help free the Ever Given, spoke to Dutch media about the situation this morning and described the ship as ‘like a giant whale that we have to slide off the beach, back in the water.’
He commented: ‘We need to be realistic and that is that the stem of the ship is still very much stuck. Putting the rear end of the ship afloat was the easy part. The challenging part will be the front of the ship. Now, we will start working at the front.’
Though teams are making headway in the mission to free the ship, it could still take around a week to clear the backlog of boats waiting to sail through the blocked canal, Bloomberg reports.
In a statement, Mohab Mamish, the Egyptian president’s adviser for the Suez Canal, said the plan for ‘all the ships to cross the canal’ will start today.
Though Mamish suggested that getting all of the boats through the canal corridor could take ‘around one week’, Hugo De Stoop, CEO of oil-shipping firm Euronav, told Bloomberg Television it could be up to three times as long.
It’s one thing to refloat the ship, it’s another thing to completely clear the canal of traffic. Whatever has been accumulated so far will take time to clear. Tentative timeline is probably two to three weeks, because the Suez canal was used probably at full capacity.
More than 450 ships are waiting near the canal, though some vessels gave up waiting for the Ever Given to be free and opted instead to travel around the southern tip of Africa.
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