EVER GIVEN has been successfully refloated within the Suez Canal at approximately 15:04 March 29, 2021 local time (13:04 GMT). In order for the Canal to resume normal operation, the vessel has left the grounding site with assistance of tugboats.
Now the mega containership will be repositioned to the Great Bitter Lake in the Canal for an inspection of its seaworthiness. The outcome of that inspection will determine whether the ship can resume its scheduled service. Once the inspection is finalized, decisions will be made regarding arrangements for cargo currently on board.
As Evergreen is the charterer of the vessel MV EVER GIVEN, the Taiwanese shipping giant Evergreen will then coordinate with the Japanese shipowner, Shoei Kisen to deal with subsequent matters after the shipowner and other concerned parties complete investigation reports into the incident.
The 400-metre-long (1,300 ft) vessel was buffeted by a sandstorm and strong winds of up to 40 knots (74 km/h; 46 mph), knocking it off course, though authorities stated this was “not the main reason” for the grounding, and that “there may have been technical or human errors”.
The ship ran aground on one of the canal’s banks, obstructing the canal and preventing other vessels from passing through. The obstruction is well south of the section of the canal that has two channels, so there is no way for other ships to bypass Ever Given. The obstruction had a significant impact on other shipping, with at least 369 ships queueing to pass through the canal as of 29 March.