Hundreds of ships are waiting for passage on the Suez Canal, now an end to the crisis is in sight. Tugs pull and push the “Ever Given” from several directions and can free her stern from the bank at dawn. Some of those involved in the canal are already breathing again.
After the Suez Canal was blocked for almost a week, the aground container ship “Ever Given” is floating again. The 400-meter-long ship was floated early Monday morning at 4.30 a.m. (local time) and will be secured, said the service provider Inchcape Shipping.
Admiral Usama Rabi, chairman of the channel authority, confirmed the success on Facebook. The ship’s radar Vesselfinder showed the “Ever Given” as “on the way” again. At first it remained unclear when the waterway could be opened for passage again.
The course of the ship, which is roughly the size of the Empire State Building in New York, has been changed by 80 percent. The stern was said to have been removed 100 meters from the bank. The channel service provider Leth Agencies wrote on Twitter that the ship had been “partially moved”, but the bow was still aground. With the next flood around 11:30 am, the “Ever Given” should be completely freed and brought to the center of the canal, Rabi announced.
According to the canal authority, ten tugs had tried again from four directions since dawn to move the huge ship. Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had previously ordered that the partial unloading of containers be prepared in the event that attempts to uncover them continue to be unsuccessful. Aid and rescue teams have been using tugs and dredgers for days to free a Japanese owner’s ship that ran aground on Tuesday.
It was initially unclear when the “Ever Given” could continue its voyage north on the way to Rotterdam in the canal. There is still “some work to be done,” wrote the marine traffic radar on Twitter. According to Admiral Rabi, the container ship is to be examined on the Great Bitter Lake at the northern end of the Suez Canal. In addition, investigations should clarify the cause of the accident.
According to the canal authority, around 370 ships were waiting for passage on both sides of the canal, including 25 oil tankers. Financial news service Bloomberg reported 450 ships waiting on Monday. Several shipping companies had already started sending their ships across the Cape of Good Hope in Africa.
After the success report on Monday morning, videos of relieved crew members from other ships circulated in the canal on the Internet. “The boat is floating,” says a man on board a ship and sticks his thumb up. On one of the videos the saying “Alhamdulillah” (thank God) can be heard over and over again.
The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean with the Red Sea and thus offers the shortest shipping route between Asia and Europe. According to the Suez Canal Authority, almost 19,000 ships passed through the waterway in 2020. As a result of the blockade, the channel has lost around $ 13 to 14 million in daily revenue.