CAIRO – 29 March 2021: Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA), announced Monday that the Panamanian container ship ‘EVER GIVEN’ has been successfully refloated.
Admiral Osama Rabie, Chairman and Managing Director of the Suez Canal Authority, added that this was the result of successful push and tow maneuvers which led to the restoration of 80% of the vessel’s direction; with the stern 102 m. away from the bank of the Canal now instead of 4 m. prior to the refloating.
According to Official Spokesperson, George Safwat, Suez Canal Authority Maneuvers are set to be resumed once more during high tide at 11:30 a.m.; as it shall reach 2 m., allowing for the full restoration of the vessel’s direction so it is positioned in the middle of the navigable waterway.
Admiral Rabie, reassured the international navigation society as navigation shall be resumed immediately upon the complete restoration of the vessel’s direction and directing it to the Bitter Lakes waiting area for technical inspection.
He also commended the efforts of the SCA workers who achieved this ‘heroic feat’ saying that they have done their patriotic duty impeccably and that in all certainty work will be complete very soon.
The EVER GIVEN ship, 400 meters long and 59 meters wide, has 18,300 containers onboard with a capacity of 224,000 tons ran aground due to bad weather and sandstorm and wedged diagonally across the canal at 151km of the canal, where vessels pass through from both directions. Being stranded at this point, the ship resulted in the suspension of the international maritime trade through the canal since March 25, 2021.
The number of the ships awaiting in the Suez Canal blocked by the vessel that ran aground has reached 321 vessels, and that the authority is providing them all logistic services they need, Lieutenant General Rabie said.
In his speech, Rabei clarified that the incident did not occur in the new shipping lane of the Suez Canal, but it took place in the southern entrance of the canal. “No ships stranded in the Suez Canal have changed their courses to other routes,” Rabie said, adding that he rules out any ships would change their courses in the future, explaining that the Suez Canal “is the shortest passage for the maritime navigational traffic in the world.”
The incident did not result in any injuries, deaths or pollution accidents, he said, adding that the sand storm and the bad weather could not be the main cause of the incident, adding that a human or technical error could be the reason but there will be an investigation to know the exact reasons after refloating the ship.
“In such incidents, we ask the captain to keep and have all documents, videos and audios for the investigations,” he explained, adding that compensation will be considered later. “We cannot say that we have not been affected when it comes to the revenues because the other vessels already awaiting in the canal,” Rabie said, adding that offloading the containers is the third scenario that could be conducted to refloat the ship.
“On Friday, there was an indication of success to refloat the ship but t has been stopped due to the low level of tidewater, but we cannot guarantee when exactly the refloating process would complete,” Rabie said. EVER GIVEN vessel, according to Rabie, has passed through the canal before.