Ten tugs and suction excavators are already working on the crashed large freighter. The canal authority does not dare to predict how long this will take.
Specialists are working to clear the stern of the Ever Given ship in the Suez Canal.
There are now at least ten tugs in use.
It is difficult to make predictions.
The attempts to rescue the giant freighter Ever Given, which ran aground in the Suez Canal, are being intensified. Two more heavy tugs arrived in Suez on Sunday morning, as satellite data from Marinetraffic showed. The Dutch Alp Guard and the Italian Carlo Magno were supposed to help free the container ship, which has been blocking one of the world’s most important waterways since Tuesday. Shipping companies increasingly began to let their ships sail around Africa.
Almost 400 meters long and 59 meters wide, Ever Given ran aground on Tuesday about six kilometers from the southern entrance to the canal and was wedged between the banks. There was only a small advance in the rescue attempts with ten smugglers on Saturday. Specialists have made some progress in clearing the stern of the container ship, said the sewer service provider Leth Agencies. Now sand and mud are to be vacuumed further under the ship.
“I dont know”
The head of the Egyptian canal authority, Osama Rabei admitted on Saturday that he could not say when the Ever Given would be back on the road. “I can’t say because I don’t know,” he said. The situation is difficult.
The head of the Dutch salvage company Boskalis, Peter Berdowski, explained that the experts are relying on a combination of heavy tugs, suction dredgers and the spring tide, which will be up to 50 centimeters higher than normal due to the upcoming full moon. The bow of the Ever Given was bored firmly into the loamy shore sand, and it was not as bad at the stern. That is where you can start. “We hope that the combination of the tugs we will have there, more dredged ground and the tide will be enough to free the ship sometime early next week,” said Berdowski. If that’s not enough, hundreds of containers would have to be unloaded, he adds. A crane for this is already on the way.
The Suez Canal shortens the route for merchant ships between Asia and Europe by several thousand kilometers. Ten percent of world trade runs through the artificial waterway between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Hundreds of ships jammed at the canal approaches after the accident.
Ships with live cargo are waiting for passage
Because the end of the accident was not yet in sight, shipping companies have started to let their freighters sail around the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa. The Danish shipping company Moller-Maersk announced that deliveries would be delayed by three to six days because of the longer routes. According to the information, 22 freighters of the world’s largest shipping company and its partners were stuck on the canal. In addition to ships with computers or oil on board, there are also those with live cargo waiting to pass through the canal.
The cause of the accident had not yet been clarified. Strong winds are not the only reason, said Rabei. The investigation is still ongoing. Technical or human errors cannot be ruled out. Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the company responsible for the technology on board, explained that, according to initial results, mechanical errors or problems with the drive could be ruled out. However, one of the first damage reports mentioned that there had been a power failure on Ever Given at the time of the accident.
(DPA / dmo)