Putting an end to an almost 7-day blockage, vessels awaiting in both the directions may start transiting the Suez Canal by the end of the day. The backlog can be cleared within coming 2-3 days.
Admiral Osama Rabie, Chairman and Managing Director of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), has announced today, Monday 29th March, 2021, that the Panamanian container ship has been successfully refloated. This was the result of successful push and tow maneuvers which led to the restoration of 80% of the vessel’s direction; with the stern 102 meters away from the bank of the Canal now instead of 4 meters prior to the refloating.
Maneuvers are set to be resumed once more during high tide at 11:30 a.m.; as it shall reach 2 meters, allowing for the full restoration of the vessel’s direction so it is positioned in the middle of the navigable waterway.
Admiral Rabie reassured the international navigation society that the navigation shall be resumed immediately upon the complete restoration of the vessel’s direction and directing it to the Bitter Lakes waiting area for technical inspection.
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.