Tugboats Honk Their Horns In Celebration As Trapped Suez Canal Ship Moves For First Time
Tugboats sounded off a symphony of horns after the Suez Canal ship moved for the first time.
Since Tuesday, March 23, Evergreen’s Ever Given 400m-long container ship has been lodged in the international shipping lane – normally offering passage to 12% of the world’s trade – sparking international concerns about delays. So far, more than 320 other vessels are stuck on either side of the blockage, with some having to reroute around Africa.
However, when it comes to moving a 200,000-tonne ship, the small victories count for a lot – so, when some sort of movement was actually achieved, people started celebrating.
Footage emerged online of tugboats honking in unison after managing to move the Ever Given 30 degrees in two directions, as per BBC News, even amid the strong winds and tides complicating their efforts.
Water has even started to run underneath the ship, with General Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), saying, ‘We expect that at any time the ship could slide and move from the spot it is in.’
As for how the Ever Given got stuck in the first place, the strong winds and other weather issues may not be the ‘main reasons… there may have been technical or human errors. All of these factors will become apparent in the investigation’, Rabie said.
If efforts to remove 20,000 cubic metres of sand from underneath the ship don’t result in its movement, shipping containers may need to be removed in order to lighten the load. Currently, there are 18,300 containers aboard the vessel, meaning that process could take weeks.
Fortunately, Peter Berdowski, the CEO of salvage firm Boskalis, which is currently working on freeing the Ever Given, doesn’t believe the rear end of the ship is stuck in sand like the front.
As per The Guardian, he said, ‘The combination of the [tug] boats we will have there, more ground dredged away and the high tide, we hope that will be enough to get the ship free somewhere early next week.’
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