Shipping was in the move again late on Monday in Egypt’s Suez Canal after a giant container ship which had been blocking the busy waterway for almost a week was refloated, with more than 400 ships waiting to pass through.
After the 400-metre-long Ever Green was dislodged, 113 ships were expected to transit the canal in both directions by early Tuesday morning, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chairman Osama Rabie told reporters.
He said 422 vessels were waiting in line.
The Ever Green had become jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal, the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia, in high winds on early March 23.
“The ship came out intact and it has no problems. We’ve just searched the bottom and soil of the Suez Canal and thankfully it is sound and has no issues, and ships will pass through it today,” Rabie told Nile TV.
At dawn on Monday, rescue workers from the SCA working with a team from Dutch firm Smit Salvage partially refloated the ship and straightened it in the canal. After several hours it shifter briefly back across the canal before being manoeuvred free by tugs as the tide changed, a canal source said.
The company said approximately 30,000 cubic meters of sand had been dredged to refloat the 224,000-ton container ship and a total of 11 tugs and two powerful sea tugs were used to pull the ship free.