Suez Canal: Ever Given container ship finally freed

Ever Given container ship finally freed
In this photo released by Suez Canal Authority, the Ever Given, a Panama-flagged cargo ship, is pulled by one of the Suez Canal tugboats, in the Suez Canal, Egypt, Monday, March 29, 2021. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: Ever Given, the giant container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week has finally been freed after a massive operation.

Tug boats honked their horns in celebration as the 400m-long ship was dislodged on Monday.

Traffic is set to resume in both sides of the canal through the canal at 19:00 local time (17:00 GMT), according to local authorities.

Hundreds of ships are waiting to pass through the narrow canal, which connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea through Egypt.

Suez is one of the world’s busiest trade routes.

Peter Berdowski, CEO of Dutch salvage company Boskalis, said the giant container ship had been refloated at 15:05 (13:05 GMT) on Monday, “thereby making free passage through the Suez Canal possible again”.

Ever Given was being towed for safety checks to the Great Bitter Lake, which sits between two sections of the canal further north from the ship’s current location.

President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt thanked Egyptians for their efforts in “ending the crisis” in the canal.

The 200,000-tonne Ever Given, which is one of the largest ship in the world, ran aground last Tuesday morning amid high winds and a sandstorm that affected visibility.

Boskalis deployed a specialist salvage team to refloat the ship, SMIT Salvage Papendrecht. The team first freed the stern, with the bow following, despite high winds.

Approximately 30,000 cubic meters of sand were dredged in an effort to make the ship free, with a total of 11 harbour tugs and two powerful seagoing tugs deployed.

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