Suez Canal ship MOVES: EverGiven nudges for first time in FIVE days
The Ever Given ship has been stuck in the essential trade route of the Suez Canal since Tuesday, as authorities tried hard to free the ship. But now, after five days, the ship has finally moved after authorities admitted “human error” could be to blame for the canal blockage. Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority Chief, Osama Rabie, confirmed efforts to dislodge the container ship had enabled its stern and rudder to move, but he said he couldn’t predict when Ever Given would be floating once more. Mr Rabie said he hoped it wouldn’t be necessary to resort to removing the hundreds of cargo containers on board the 200,000-tonne ship. The Suez Canal Authority boss also revealed “strong winds and weather factors” weren’t the main reason for the ship getting stuck, instead putting it down to “technical or human errors”. Two more attempts to free the 1,300-feet-long Ever Given will be made on Saturday after efforts failed on Friday. High winds are understood to have blow the ship across the canal, which is very narrow in diameter, but Mr Rabie confirmed this wasn’t the main reason for the incident. Sophisticated maritime tracking technology has been able to simulate the exact moment when the Ever Given carrier was wedged into the banks of the Suez Canal on March 23.
A video from Vessel Finder recreates the crash by using the ship’s onboard tracker, managing to showcase the precise moment the Ever Given veered to port before suddenly going hard to starboard and hitting the canal banks. Ever Given ran aground about 3.7miles north of the southern entrance of the canal, near the Egyptian city of Suez, before forcing passing boats to stop. Captains seem to be relying on the ship being freed in the coming days and are currently anchoring outside the Suez. This option has been chosen in place of sailing around the Cape of Good Hope, which would likely add days onto their routes and even expose them to the added threat of piracy around African waters.
Peter Berdowski, chief executive of Boskalis, the salvage company hired to dislodge the Ever Given, said the firm hoped to pull the container ship free within days. Mr Bedowski’s workers will be using a combination of heavy tugboats, dredging and high tides to free the container. The shipping boss told reporters the front of the ship is stuck in sandy clay, but the back of the Ever Given “has not been completely pushed into the clay and that is positive because you can use the rear end to pull it free”. Mr Bedowksi said two large tugboats were on their way to the canal, expected to arrive in the Suez over the weekend. He added that the company aims to harness the power of the tugs, dredging and tides, which he said are expected to be up to 50cm higher on Saturday. Mr Berdowski said: “The combination of the [tug] boats we will have there, more ground dredged away and the high tide, we hope that will be enough to get the ship free somewhere early next week.” If that plan fails, the company will remove hundreds of containers from the ship’s front in an effort to render it lighter.
That would make it possible to effectively lift the ship and make it much easier to pull to freedom, with Mr Berdowski adding a crane was already on its way to start the job. At least 10 tugboats have already bee sent out to help the vessel come back afloat, according to Japanese company Shoei Kisen, which owns the container ship. The company’s president, Yuki Higaki, told a new conference that workers are already dredging the bank and sea floor near the Ever Given’s bow to try and get it unstuck. US President Joe Biden weighed in to the story, saying: “We have equipment and capacity that most countries don’t have, and we are seeing what we can do and what help we can be.” The fact the White House even wants to help just highlights the cruciality of the Suez Canal in free-flow of trade around the world, with companies and Governments already warning of delays to goods incoming from Asia because of the crisis. Analysts estimate about £290million worth of trade is being held up every hour the EverGiven is stuck in the Suez Canal. – express.co.uk