Sunday, 09 May, 2021


Suez Canal blocked by huge container ship unable to turn around

Suez Canal Traffic Blocked After Massive Ship Runs Aground A huge container ship has accidentally blocked the Suez Canal, one of the world's key shipping lanes
Bennie Garza | 24 March, 2021, 13:35

Seven tug boats have come to the aid of a container ship that ran aground in the Suez Canal on Tuesday and blocked other vessels from transiting one of the world's most important waterways.

The Ever Given is blocking traffic in the Suez Canal.

A Egyptian official, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to brief journalists similarly blamed a strong wind in the area for the incident. Fifteen ships were said to have been behind the Ever Given at the time and were prevented from proceeding. There have been no reported injuries or pollution, he said.

Tugboats (seen in blue) are trying to push the Ever Given in the right direction.

Big ships and little waterways scarcely mix well, but it's still rare that one of the world's largest container vessels finds itself abreast the Suez Canal, cutting off two seas' worth of ocean-going traffic.

"Ship in front of us ran aground while going through the canal and is now stuck sideways", she wrote on Instagram.

Almost 19,000 ships, or an average of 51.5 ships per day, with a net tonnage of 1.17 billion tonnes passed through the canal during 2020, according to the SCA.

"Every day the canal is closed ... container ships and tankers are not delivering food, fuel and manufactured goods to Europe and goods are not being exported from Europe to the Far East". A spokesperson for the Suez Canal Authority couldn't be reached for comment after midnight local time.

Container ships sail in Suez Canal during the 150th anniversary of the Suez Canal
Container ships sail in Suez Canal during the 150th anniversary of the Suez Canal

The Ever Given had listed its destination as Rotterdam in the Netherlands prior to getting stuck.

The ship has the capacity to carry 20,000 20-ft shipping containers, according to Reuters news agency.

The Suez Canal is a crucial global trade route that provides the shortest maritime route from Europe to Asia.

Either way, that's what happened on Tuesday morning after the Ever Given left Suez, Egypt, south of the canal, and headed north, according to GAC, a shipping logistics firm.

The owners of the 400m-long (1312ft) vessel say it ran aground sideways after being hit by strong winds.

The incident Tuesday marks just the latest to affect mariners amid the pandemic.

While the vessel is likely to remain stuck only for a couple of days, the blockage is likely to send a ripple of disruption through the global oil supply chain. Meanwhile, demands on shipping have increased, adding to the pressure on exhausted sailors, Mercogliano said. "Add to it that mariners have not been able to get on and off vessels because of COVID restrictions".

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