Egyptian officials said this weekend that the huge container ship blocking the Suez Canal may have run aground due to human error, not due to a strong wind gust.
Initial reports said the 1,300-foot-200,000-ton Ever Geffen vessel was trapped in the shipping channel due to strong winds and sandstorms that affected visibility.
But the head of the Suez Canal Authority now says that the weather “were not the main reasons” for the ship’s suspension.
Osama Rabie, head of the channel’s authority, told reporters on Saturday, “Perhaps there were technical or human errors,” without giving further details. BBC reported.
“All these factors will become clear in the investigation.”
Meanwhile, tug boats and bulldozers continued to push and pull the massive ship from where it had been stuck between the banks of the normally busy canal since Tuesday.
At least 369 boats are lining up in massive traffic jams waiting to pass through the canal, which handles up to 15 percent of global trade.
A block of rocks under the ship’s bow makes the effort difficult. The bulldozers hauled over 950,000 cubic feet of sand and dug nearly 60 feet, but the ship is still stuck.
The Suez Canal Authority said there were still few signs of progress.
“The rudder was not moving and it is moving now, the fan is working now, there was no water under the arch, and now there is water under it, and yesterday there was a 4-meter deflection in the bow and the stern,” Rabie told Egyptian state television.
Post the video to Twitter Show the tugboats blowing their horns to celebrate.
The authorities brought in two tug boats more powerful, bringing the total to 14 tugboats working to move the ship. Channel backup costs about $ 15 million per day.
The Egyptian government has also ordered preparations to start unloading some of the 18,300 containers on the ship to reduce its cargo. The effort will not begin until Monday.
It will require transferring the containers either to another ship or to the Canal Bank. Special equipment will be required, including a crane over 200 feet, and the process may take weeks. BBC reported.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon said Sunday that the blocked canal may also affect the movement of US military ships.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense Tall said The longer the duct blockage takes, the greater the concerns.
“The Suez Canal is a major naval choke point, and the longer the corridor is suspended, the greater its impact on civilian and military crossings,” said Navy spokeswoman Rebecca Rebarich.
Experts have warned that with the canal closed, more ships are likely to attempt to circumnavigate Africa. Raise their exposure to hackers, Along with increased costs and shipping times.
“[I]Paul Sullivan, an international security expert, said that if there are more and more ships plying along the African coast because of this incident, security arrangements will need to be tightened “around areas where piracy is known to occur, especially the waters surrounding Somalia and Yemen and a professor at the Defense University.” the National In an interview with Voice of America.
With the zip wires