There is finally a glimmer of hope for the Suez Canal to be reopened after the massive container ship blocking the waterway was partially refloated on Monday, 29 March.
The 200 000 ton ship ran aground and blocked off the shortest shipping route between Asia and Europe almost a week ago, causing major traffic delays. So far, 369 vessels were affected – these include container ships, bulk carriers and oil tankers.
The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said on Monday, after more excavations and dredging over the weekend the 400m-long ship was refloated. But there is still more work to be done as it is still stuck in the mud. In another effort to pull Ever Given out, a second large anchor-handling tug will be used and authorities are hoping this will set her free.
27 000 tons of sand was dredged out to free the ship from the Suez Canal
Some 27 000 tons of sand, to a depth of 60 feet, were dredged out and 14 tugboats pulling manoeuvres from three different directions were used to dislodge the stuck vessel.
According to the SCA, Ever Given had been straightened and further tugging operations would resume once the tide rose later on Monday. The traffic backed up in the canal will resume as soon as the ship is redirected to a wider section of the canal.
SCA chairman Lt. Gen.Osama Rabie said: “It is very possible that by today noon shipping activity would resume, god willing. We will not waste one second.”