Suez Canal news live: Ever Given rescue effort restarts

Ever Given container ship aground in the Suez Canal

The owner of the massive container ship that is blocking the Suez Canal has apologised for the disruption it has caused.

Some 150 ships are now queueing to pass through the vital waterway, which carries about one-tenth of the world’s trade.

The MV Ever Given, a Panama-flagged vessel operated by Taiwanese company Evergreen and owned by Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd, of Japan, became wedged sideways across the canal on Tuesday following strong winds.

Ever Given is a 200,000-tonne, 400m behemoth capable of carrying 20,000 containers.

Authorities renewed their rescue effort on Thursday, using dredgers to remove material from around the giant ship and tugs to try to nudge it back to deeper water. Its bow appears to be stuck in the canal’s eastern bank.

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Serious shock to global trade, or an opportunity for Twitter users to poke fun?

The plight of the Ever Given has given Twitter users the chance to flex their comedic muscles.

Jokes about video games and memes abounded, along with other, unprintable material.

Jon Sharman25 March 2021 11:10

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Owner of ship blocking Suez Canal apologises for disruption as rescue operation recommences

The owner of the MV Ever Given, the container ship that is blocking the Suez Canal, has apologised for the delays caused by its grounding on Tuesday, writes Rory Sullivan.

The 224,000-tonne, 400-metre-long vessel was en route from China to Rotterdam when it became wedged across the canal. Although it has now been partially re-floated, work to fix the situation is ongoing.

As of Thursday morning, 150 ships were reported to be queueing to access the 120-mile-long canal between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

They are said to hold around 10 million barrels of oil and petrol, which could have consequences on global oil prices.

Jon Sharman25 March 2021 10:51

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Map shows location of Ever Given

Here you can see the point at which the Ever Given has become stuck.

It’s at a point where the canal is only one-way; the second parallel channel, opened in 2015, is some way north.

Jon Sharman25 March 2021 10:26

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New images from crash site show scale of rescue operation

Newly released images from the Suez Canal show the scale of the rescue operation for the Ever Given.

A digger operator tries to excavate the bow of the huge container ship

(Suez CANAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Tug boats alongside the Ever Given. Authorities have been trying to combine dredging with nudging efforts by smaller boats to free the giant

(Suez CANAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Jon Sharman25 March 2021 10:07

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Suez Canal blocked: A brief history of the Egyptian trade route and the Ever Given stranded in its waters

The grounding of the Golden-class container ship the Ever Given in the Suez Canal, causing the vessel to drift sideways and block both north and south-bound freight traffic, has brought sudden international attention to the celebrated waterway connecting the Mediterranean with the Red Sea, writes Joe Sommerlad.

The 120-mile man-made passage was originally constructed by the Suez Canal Company between 1859 and 1869 but the idea’s origins go back as far as Ancient Egypt, the goal the same then as it was for the Victorians: to open up global trade between the east and west.

Pharaoh Senusret III is thought to have built a precursor connecting the Red Sea with the Nile River as long ago as 1850 BC, while the later Pharaoh Necho II (610-595 BC) held similar ambitions that went unrealised until the Persian conqueror Darius (522-486 BC) completed it and proclaimed: “When the canal had been dug as I ordered, ships went from Egypt through this canal to Persia, even as I intended.”

Jon Sharman25 March 2021 09:46

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Week-long delay would have ‘massive implications’

If rescuers can pull the Ever Given alongside the bank of the Suez Canal, the flow of ships along it may be able to resume.

However, if they cannot and the current delays extend for a few more days, it could have “massive implications” for world trade, an expert has warned.

“Typically, buyers plan at least two to five days of safety buffer with inbound ocean freight due to delays that can occur at origin or through customs clearance process,” Glenn Koepke, of logistics software company FourKites, told NBC News.

He added: “If they are able to clear the channel or pull the vessel to the side to allow traffic to flow through, then there should be minimal impact to consumers.

“If the vessel remains stuck for a week or more, this could have massive implications.”

Another expert told the broadcaster that delays might affect “basically anything you see in the stores”.

Jon Sharman25 March 2021 09:24

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Traffic fully suspended, Suez Canal Authority says

The Suez Canal Authority has suspended traffic temporarily while eight tugs work to free a giant container ship stranded in the southern stretch of the canal for two days, it said on Thursday.

Thirteen ships had sailed south along the canal on Wednesday and were waiting in lakes along the route until the container ship Ever Given is released, the authority said in a statement.

Jon Sharman25 March 2021 09:01

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Another satellite view shows scale of Ever Given

The MV Ever Given is still visible – just – even in this wide-angle view from the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite, revealing the scale of the massive vessel.

The ship is seen wedged across the canal half-way up the image. The city in middle-left is Suez, at the canal’s southern mouth.

Ever Given as seen from space, by the ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite

(via REUTERS)

Jon Sharman25 March 2021 08:41

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Ever Given’s Japanese owner apologises

The Ever Given’s Japanese owner has offered an apology for the huge disruption its grounding has caused.

“We are determined to keep on working hard to resolve this situation as soon as possible,” Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd said on Thursday.

“We would like to apologise to all parties affected by this incident, including the ships travelling and planning to travel through Suez Canal.”

The container vessel is operated by Taiwanese company Evergreen Marine and registered in Panama.

Jon Sharman25 March 2021 08:27

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Ship had two canal authority pilots aboard, manager says

The Ever Given had two pilots from Egypt’s canal authority aboard to guide it when it ran aground at about 7.45 a.m. Tuesday, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, its technical manager, has said.

Pilots board vessels and help navigate the canal alongside regular crew.

BSM also revealed more details about the rescue attempt, which is making use of the Ever Given’s winches to help dredgers move material from around it.

The company said in a statement: “The vessel grounded due to strong winds as the vessel, with two canal pilots onboard, was transiting northbound through the canal en route to Rotterdam, Netherlands.

“All 25 crew are safe and accounted for. There have been no reports of injuries, pollution or cargo damage and initial investigations rule out any mechanical or engine failure as a cause of the grounding.

“Dredgers are working to clear sand and mud from around the vessel to free her. Tugboats in conjunction with Ever Given’s winches are working to shift the vessel.

“BSM’s immediate priorities are to safely re-float the vessel and for marine traffic in the Suez Canal to resume.

“The continued efforts of the Suez Canal Authority and those involved in ongoing re-floating operations are greatly appreciated and BSM will continue to work closely with all parties involved in this operation.

“Once re-floated, the vessel will undergo a full inspection and BSM will cooperate fully with the relevant authorities on reports of the incident.”

Yesterday The Independent spoke to a top UK marine instructor about the process for entering the Suez Canal.

Lars Lippuner, director of the Warsash Maritime School in southern England, said yesterday: “During the passage through the canal there would be a Suez Canal pilot on board with local knowledge and expertise.

“The pilot is in addition to the standard complement of the ship and it could be more than one pilot.

“The bridge of the ship would usually have a higher number of crew and officers present to ensure a safe crossing – it is considered a pilotage situation.

“Lots of pre-canal transit checks such as checks on steering gear, machinery, lights, and navigational equipment would have taken place before entering the Canal at the Suez or the Port Said end.”

Jon Sharman25 March 2021 08:08

 

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