A giant container ship continues to stay stuck across Egypt’s Suez Canal. Moreover, the attempt to dislodge it on Saturday’s high tide failed.
Canal officials said, however, that the process has made some progress to get it back to normal. Also, they are hoping that the ship would be sailing again by Sunday evening.
The Ever Given has been stuck in the canals since Tuesday. The Suez Canals is one of the busiest trade routes in the world.
Due to the blockage, more than 300 ships are stuck on either side of the vessel. Moreover, some ships had to route through Africa.
On Saturday, about 20,000 tonnes of sand was dredged. Also, 14 tugboats pulled and pushed the EverGreen in the hope to dislodge it.
Although solid tides and winds complicated efforts to free the ship. The tugboats managed to move it by 30 degrees in two directions.
Posted on Twitter is a small footage of the tugboats celebrating the slight improvement by honking their horns.
General Osama Rabie, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, said that water had begun running beneath the ship.
We expect that the ship can anytime move and slide from the spot it is in, he told in the press conference.
He added that he hoped that it would not be necessary to remove any of the 18,300 containers on board to lighten the ship’s load.
The initial report said that the 400m-long (13,000feet), 200,000-tonne vessel ran aground due to high winds and sandstorms that affected visibility.
However, Mr. Osama said weather conditions were not the main reasons for the ship’s grounding.
He said to reporters that there might have been technical or human errors but didn’t give the details. But he added that all of these factors would become apparent in the investigation.
What’s the back-up plan?
If digging the sand away and pulling with tugs failed to move it, said Mr. Rabie, Then the rescue team would have to lighten the vessel by taking off a few containers.
John Denholm said that transferring the cargo to another vessel would involve bringing in specialist equipment. Even including a crane that would need to stretch more than 60m (200 feet) high. John Denholm is currently the president of the UK Chamber of Shipping.