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“Ever Given” Refloated as 16 Greek-Owned Vessels Stuck at Suez Canal

Suez canal
The vessel “Ever Given” first got stuck in the Suez canal on Tuesday. Credit: AMNA

The huge container ship “Ever Given,” which has been wedged in the Suez Canal for six days was reportedly refloated on Monday.

Video posted on social media on Monday appeared to show the stern of the Ever Given swung towards the canal bank, opening space in the channel.

Maritime services company Inchcape also reported the vessel had been freed. However, the ship is still not able to move, despite the action of the tides and help from tugboats.

The ship was moved a total of thirty meters earlier in the day, but its bulbous bow, with the large protrusion just under the normal waterline, may still have so much debris attached to it that the vessel cannot navigate.

Refloating the ship was a Herculean effort, involving tugboats and dredgers.

The canal, which runs through Egypt, is one of the busiest trade routes in the world.

The grounding of the Ever Given – part of the Evergreen fleet – meant other ships had to reroute around Africa.

The 400- meter (1,300-foot) long, 200,000-ton vessel ran aground amid high winds and a sandstorm that affected visibility. Specialist salvage companies were brought in to help refloat the ship.

16 Greek-owned ships stuck at Suez

At least 16 Greek-owned merchant ships are among the more than 320 stuck waiting to pass through the Suez canal, Shipping Minister Ioannis Plakiotakis said Sunday.

Greece had informed Egypt early on that it was ready to help by either sending tow ships or drilling equipment to help free the containership “Ever Given.”

“We wanted to state that we are available and ready to help both in towing and dredging,” Plakiotakis said, adding that the incident creates a “huge problem.”

“Over 10% of global trade moves through the Suez canal,” he said.

Egypt thanked Greece for its offer, although it apparently did not take the country up on it.

Blocking of Suez costs $400 million per hour

About 12% of global trade passes through the 193-km (120-mile) canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea and provides the shortest maritime link between Asia and Europe.

An alternative route, around the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa, can take two weeks longer.

The blocking of the Suez Canal, one of the world’s most important trade routes, costs $400 million per hour in delayed goods, Lloyd’s List estimated.

Lloyd’s List, the London-based insurance giant and shipping news journal, estimated the value of cargo goods passing through the canal every day at $9.7 billion on average, with $5.1 billion traveling west and $4.6 billion traveling east.

The average number of vessels passing through the canal each day is 93, meaning that nearly 300 vessels have already been blocked thus far.

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