Status: 03/27/2021 11:25 a.m.
The recovery of the wrecked freighter “Even Given” in the Suez Canal is ongoing. Experts now want to free the ship with the help of the tides. Meanwhile, shipping companies are sending their ships around the Cape of Good Hope.
With the help of the tides, specialists want to attempt to rescue the container ship “Ever Given”, which is stuck in the Suez Canal. Yukito Higaki, head of the Japanese shipping company Shoei Kisen, said at least ten tugs were in use, and sand was being dug up on the bank and at the bottom of the canal near the ship’s bow. It is hoped that the ship will be released when the water sinks again after the high tide. If that doesn’t work, you have to unload containers to make the “Ever Given” easier.
There is no evidence that the ship’s engines have been damaged, Higaki said, according to Japanese media reports. There are also no problems with the rudder or the propellers. “As soon as it moves again, it should be operational,” said the shipping company boss, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. Work on removing sediment under the bow continued, he stressed.
280 ships are waiting for passage
The almost 400 meters long and 59 meters wide container ship ran aground on Tuesday about six kilometers from the southern entrance to the canal. Around 280 ships are now waiting to pass through on both sides of the canal. After an analysis of ship data by the data service provider Refinitiv, more than 100 more were on their way there. Others already accepted the detour around the African continent.
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the company responsible for the technology on the “Ever Given”, stated that after previous unsuccessful attempts, they wanted to pump ballast water out of the ship so that it would be easier. Two additional tugs are to be used on Sunday to free the freighter from the bank. The canal authority wanted to make at least two attempts – each after the flood.
The US government recently offered to help save the “Ever Given”. “We have equipment and capacity that most countries do not have. We will see how we can help here,” said US President Joe Biden. The government said the Navy was ready to send a team of experts to the canal but was awaiting approval from local authorities. Turkey also offered to help.
Alternative route across Africa’s southern tip
The container ship went off course in a sandstorm and ran aground near the banks of the Suez Canal. Since then, it has blocked the waterway between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, and all ships in it cannot continue. Efforts on site to get the ship free have been in full swing since Wednesday.
The Suez Canal shortens the route for merchant ships between Asia and Europe by several thousand kilometers. Because the end of the accident is not yet in sight, shipping companies have started to let their freighters drive around the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa, as satellite images show. Among them is the “Ever Greet”, the sister ship of the wrecked freighter.