Monday, March 29, 2021

Ever Given un-wedged from resting spot in Suez Canal


The container ship Ever Given, that has been stuck for nearly a week after running aground in the Suez Canal during high winds, has been reported to be largely freed from it resting place.

The stern (rear) of the ship was unwedged from the bank of the canal on Monday, reported CNN. Though the bow (front) of the ship remains stuck.

"The container ship began to float successfully after responding to the pulling maneuvers," said Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority.

chart© Provided by AccuWeather
The tracking map on from late Monday morning, local time, shows the stern of the Ever Given away from the west bank of the Suez Canal. The bow of the ship is still shown pointed and stuck in the east bank of the canal.

Plans are now in place to try to free the bow (front) of the ship later in the day on Monday, using the rising water with the next high tide to help.

Satellite images from last week showed the 1,312-foot-long ship with its bow wedged into the eastern bank at a diagonal across the roughly 656-foot-wide Suez Canal, choking off a crucial maritime trade route in new satellite images released Friday by Maxar Images. The Ever Given, which is operated by the Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine Corp., towered over several tug boats that lined its port side.

"It's a complex technical operation" that will require several attempts to free the vessel, Rabei said in a statement late last week about their efforts.

About 12% of world trade operates through the canal, though concerns are growing over the impact the maritime traffic jam could have on the cost of goods.


Workers are racing against the clock to fully free the ship in an endeavor that is costing the world economy an estimated $400 million in delayed goods for every hour the waterway remains blocked, according to shipping data and news company Lloyd's List. The London-based shipping news journal estimated that the value of cargo goods passing through the canal every day to be roughly around $9.7 billion -- westbound traffic valuing $5.1 billion daily and eastbound traffic valuing $4.5 billion daily.

The vessel has been stuck since Tuesday, March 23, on its way from China to the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands when it reportedly ran aground amid a severe dust storm that caused high winds and poor visibility in the canal. Capt. Nick Sloane, a maritime salvage expert, told the AP that the job could take up to a week.

The job of dislodging the ship had fallen to SMIT Salvage BV, one of the largest salvage companies in the world that provides marine emergency response, wreck removal operations and environmental care services.

AccuWeather Meteorologist John Gresiak said dry and mostly clear weather could be expected in the area over into Tuesday as efforts to free the Ever Given continue.

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