Egypt’s Suez Canal has been blocked by a large container ship that ran aground after losing control, causing a traffic jam of cargo vessels in the region.
The incident which took place on March 23 has blocked both the north- and south-bound lanes. Several attempts made to refloat the 2.20 lakh tonne and 400-meter-long ship, named ‘Ever Given’ has reportedly failed.
Ever Given is owned by Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen Marine and has been registered in Panama.
The vessel which is a large Golden-class container ship was on its way to Rotterdam, the Netherlands from China when the incident took place.
The live data from VesselFinder, a tracking website, showed that efforts were on to refloat the giant ship were on with the help of several tug boats.
A mega containership called EVER GIVEN got stuck in the southern end of the Suez Canal and has now blocked off a lot of fully-laden tankers from traversing in either direction. Tankers carrying Saudi, Russian, Omani and US oil are waiting on both ends. #OOTT @MarineTraffic pic.twitter.com/sGu2ztN9O5— TankerTrackers.com, Inc.⚓️🛢 (@TankerTrackers) March 23, 2021
Suez Canal is one of the most vital shipping routes in the world as it connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. The canal helps ships traveling between Asia and Europe to avoid going around Africa and saving many days in the process.
The main canal segment is 190 kilometers long and about 24 meters deep. It is 205 meters wide – large enough for almost any large ship to go through. It handles dozens of giant container ships daily.
The traffic jam triggered by this incident at both ends is likely to cause a significant delay for ships waiting to cross the canal. Some social media users pointed out that an alone excavator had been deployed on the eastern bank of the canal to help retrieve the ship. Others wondered if the canal authorities would require the help of special salvage ships with cranes.