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Foreign Affairs

Cargo ship turns after blocking Suez Canal for 6 days

Suez Canal

The giant cargo ship MV Ever Given was reportedly stuck in Suez Canal for almost a week. It finally started to move, videos that emerged on the social media shows. But its owner said that while the giant ship “has turned”, it was still not yet afloat.

“The canal will be functioning 24 hours per day immediately after the ship has been refloated,” Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie told Egyptian TV. It will then take “around three and a half days” to clear the backlog, he added.

On Monday, rescue workers from the SCA working with a team from Dutch firm Smit Salvage partially refloated the ship and brought it straight into the canal. After quite a few hours of struggle, it shifted briefly back across the canal before being maneuvered free by tugs as the tide changed, a canal source said. 

“The time pressure to complete this operation was evident and unprecedented,” said Peter Berdowski, CEO of Smit Salvage owner Boskalis, after the Ever Given was refloated. The company said approximately 30,000 cubic meters of sand had been taken out to refloat the 224,000-tonne container ship and a total of 11 tugs and two powerful sea tugs were used to pull the ship free.

Satellite images from Maxar Technologies show the Ever Given, the container ship that has been stuck in the Suez Canal, moving away from the eastern bank of the canal.

“As you will see in the imagery, the container ship has been moved away from the eastern bank of the canal and numerous tugboats are actively involved in trying to reposition the ship,” Maxar’s Stephen Wood said in a statement to CNN.

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