The giant cargo ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal was partially freed on Monday, potentially setting up a return to moving traffic in one of the world’s busiest waterways, The New York Times reports.
What about the Suez Canal?
Late last week, a large container ship turned sideways and got stuck in the Suez Canal, blocking traffic for all the ships behind it, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
- A sandstorm and high winds pushed the ship off course, which led to it being wedged in the canal, CNN reports.
- Specialist teams were brought in to move the ship, according to Reuters.
How did the Suez Canal ship get freed?
Salvage teams worked all of last week and over the weekend — for five days and five nights straight — to get the stuck ship back afloat on the water, according to The New York Times.
- Per The New York Times, it was the moon and the tides that made the biggest difference. Officials said water levels ballooned overnight, which — thanks to the digging by the salvage teams — allowed the boat to hit the water again and begin to float.
- Officials cautioned that there’s still a complicated process underway to get the ship moving again. But for now, they have high confidence that traffic will resume in the canal, The New York Times reports.
Reactions to the Suez Canal update
- President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt said: “Egyptians have succeeded today in ending the crisis of the stuck ship in the Suez Canal despite the great complexities surrounding this situation in every aspect.”
- Peter Berdowski, the chief executive of Royal Boskalis Westminster, told The New York Times: “The ship is like a giant whale that we have to slide off the beach, back in the water. ... “We shouldn’t start cheering just yet.”
What’s next for the stuck ship?
Officials still have to get the ship moved. That’s a big deal.
- After that, authorities are investigating the cause for the ship becoming wedged in the canal. Officials suggested that one reason the ship ran aground was because of a sandstorm and high winds. Some Egyptian officials suggested human error may be to blame, according to the New York Post.
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