The cargo boat was freed by the combined efforts of dredgers, cranes and tugboats
The Suez Canal has finally been opened for ship traffic once more after it had been blocked by the Ever Given for 6 days, bringing one of the world’s most important maritime trade routes to a complete halt for almost a week.
This Ever Given cargo ship had been stuck in mud and sand, wedging diagonally across the southern end of the canal since Tuesday, 23 March 2021.
The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt that connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez. The blockage staples the movement of over 350 ships waiting to pass through the 193km canal on either side of the blockage caused by the Ever Given.
Spanning 400m (1300ft), the cargo boat was freed by the combined efforts of dredgers, cranes and tugboats whose combined efforts removed the mud and sand. Also, cargos were reduced on the boat and as the boat was pulled out of its diagonal position, and then towed north to the Great Bitter Lake, the widest part of the canal, where it was further inspected for damages.
According to the Suez Canal Authority, which helped oversee the freeing of the vessel, the blockage is estimated to have cost the Egyptian government somewhere between $12 million and $15 million a day, with oil prices dropping on Monday after the blockage was cleared.
It is still unclear as to what caused the ship to run aground, but an investigation would be needed to determine whether technical or human errors occurred.