The cargo ship is still stranded through the Suez Canal, but an Egyptian official says it will be released at the end of the week

The cargo ship is still stuck through the Suez Canal and may not be heading anywhere for "weeks"

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Cairo Sea traffic through the Suez Canal remained closed on Friday for the fourth consecutive day, as dozens of ships were stranded at the northern and southern entrances to the shortest route between Asia and Europe. efforts To expel one of the largest cargo ships in the world, Which has been stuck sideways across the narrow channel since Tuesday, has been recovering, and while one of the teams in charge of the operation said it could take weeks, an advisor to the Egyptian president offered a more optimistic timeline.

Mohab Mamish, an advisor to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for maritime ports and former head of the Suez Canal Authority, told Agence France-Presse, Thursday, that navigation through the canal “will resume again within 48-72 hours, maximum.”

A picture released by the Egyptian Suez Canal Authority on March 25, 2021 shows tug boats next to the hull of the container ship MV Evergiven, which was stranded across the canal for a third day.

Suez Canal Authority

Memish cited “his experience with many rescue operations of this kind,” and said that he knew “every centimeter of the canal.”

The Securities and Commodities Authority announced earlier this week that all navigation through the canal “will be temporarily suspended” until the massive container ship flying the Panama flag M in Evergiven is reloaded.

The Securities and Commodities Authority said Thursday after a meeting with the Dutch rescue company SMIT, which is helping to lead the operation, that about 19,600-26,000 cubic yards of sand, to a depth of 40 to 50 feet along the bank of the canal, must be moved to dislodge the canal. Ship.

On Wednesday, the Securities and Commodities Authority allowed 13 ships to enter the northern end of the canal, from the Mediterranean, in the hope that the Evergiven will be quickly dismantled and other cargo ships can continue their voyages. But those ships only reached the distance of a lake in the middle of the canal, and may not travel anywhere quickly.

Egypt uses at least eight large boats and drilling equipment on the banks of the canal, but so far all efforts have failed to re-float the nearly quarter-mile container ship, which weighs 247,000 tons.

A rig removes sand from the bank of the Suez Canal amid efforts to dislodge the container ship MV Ever Given Given

Suez Canal Authority

The Securities and Commodities Authority said, on Thursday, that an “alternative scenario” is being adopted, as ships that entered the canal from the north on Wednesday “dumped anchors in the bitter lakes waiting area, so that navigation could be fully resumed.”

Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corp., which operates the vessel under a lease on behalf of the Japanese company that owns it, has hired the Dutch company Smit Salvage and Japanese Nippon Salvage to work with the captain of the ship and the Suez Canal Authority to find out how to rebuild. – float it.

Peter Berdowski, CEO of the Dutch company Boskalis that owns Smit Salvage, said Thursday that it is still too early to say how long the job might last.

“We cannot rule out that it may take weeks, depending on the situation,” Berdowski told the Dutch television program “NewsSur”, according to Reuters. Shipping sources told Reuters that if the delays persist, ships will likely begin to change course around the southern tip of Africa, adding thousands of miles and about a week to the voyage.


CBS News / Satellite Image: CNES / AIRBUS DS via REUTERS

The Japanese company that owns Ever Given, Choi Kesen, told The Associated Press that it is cooperating with local authorities, but that “the process is very difficult.”

“We are very sorry to cause tremendous concern to ships traveling or due to travel in the Suez Canal, and all relevant persons,” the company said.

Up to 30% of the world’s cargo container freight passes through the Suez Canal every day – a journey that takes about six hours – which accounts for around 12% of all cargo handled globally, according to Reuters.

The news agency quoted industrial consultancy Kpler as saying that while the canal only facilitates the transit of about 4.4% of the total flow of oil products in the world, the prolonged disruption could affect supplies to Asia and Europe, and the impact on global oil prices appears inevitable. . .

Meanwhile, the accident – and in particular the fact that a single, albeit very large, ship disrupted global trade, and a photo of the ship’s hull dwarfing a lone rig to try to dislodge it – inspired a wealth of memes on social media. Even CBS ‘”salty” Stephen Colbert wore the captain’s hat To Anatomy of a Maritime Catastrophe On its Wednesday evening show.

As the online fun continues, stress levels will undoubtedly continue to increase for both the ship owners, who have to pay the bill for the rescue, and the Egyptian Channel Authority, which was already Suffering from a decrease in revenue Thanks to the COVID pandemic.

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