Home News Science&Tech Ever Given ship is partially afloat

Ever Given ship is partially afloat

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The container ship Ever Given, which has been blocking the Suez Canal in Egypt since Tuesday, is partly loose. An employee of maritime service provider Inchcape Shipping reports this Monday morning. On VesselFinder you can see that the ship is almost straight. However, the bow of the ship is still stuck in the clay, says a spokesman of Boskalis to NU.nl.

The enormous ship was partly detached with the help of tugs from the Dutch SMIT Salvage, part of dredgeraar Boskalis. Boskalis CEO Peter Berdowski said on Monday morning in the NOS Radio 1 News that turning the ship was the easiest part of the operation.

The difficulty lies in loosening the ship, which is still “with its head firmly in the clay”, says Boskalis’s top man. “The challenge is still ahead, because there you have to slide the ship over the clay layer, with the enormous burden that lies on it.”

At least eleven tugs were used to pull the vessel smoothly. The ship’s propellers were released by dredgers from the mud in the Suez Canal. A crane was also used to unload containers from the ship, in order to reduce the weight of the vessel.

A Boskalis spokesperson said that at this moment there is “a 70 percent chance that the ship will go loose this week”. Previously, there was a 50% chance. “We had to bring in two additional ships from the Red Sea, one of which arrived last night. The second is coming this morning, ” he says.

SMIT Salvage will tie the new ship to the stern of the Ever Given and fill the blocked ship with water at the back. Due to the extra ballast, the company hopes that the front will rise more easily.
Congestion led to huge queues

The 400-metre-long and 224,000-ton Ever Given crashed in the Suez Canal on Tuesday and crossed the important shipping route between Asia and Europe. The blockade created huge rows of ships on both sides of the canal. According to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), more than 320 vessels, such as container ships and oil tankers, were waiting on Sunday afternoon.

About 12 percent of the world’s trade in goods passes through the Suez Canal. Normally, almost USD 10 billion (almost EUR 8.5 billion) of goods are transported daily through the 193-kilometre-long waterway between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. A long blockade can have major consequences for World Trade, such as supply problems for shops and shortages of certain goods in industry.

Some shipping companies chose to sail around the South African cape of Good Hope because of the blockade. Container carriers Maersk and CMA GGM, among others, took that decision to circumvent the blockade.

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