Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Container Ship Blocks Suez Canal and Delays Others Due to Transit

Wind Blamed for Incident
Shipping News Feature

SUEZ CANAL – Up to 24 hours delay is expected to the two dozen or so vessels currently waiting to transit the waterway following an incident in which a containership ran aground whilst exercising a manoeuvre and blocked the canal.

The Ever Given a 199,000 dwt 400 metre long box vessel built in 2018 is, somewhat ironically, flagged in Panama and was en route to Rotterdam from China when the incident occurred. Part of the Taiwanese Evergreen Marine Corp. fleet the 20,000 TEU ship was left stranded on Tuesday with her bow and stern jammed against the eastern and western walls of the Canal respectively.

At the time of writing several tugs are in position trying to wrest the ship from her predicament. Our image shows seven of the Canal’s tugs in position attempting to shift her whilst one more is on their way to her. The incident apparently occurred when a particularly strong gust of wind caused the ship to slew around and become stuck.

Should efforts to remove the ship using the extremely strong tugs regularly employed in the Canal it would be necessary to dig sand from the banking to loosen its grip and perhaps even start to unload some cargo but, given the quality of equipment available, that seems unlikely.

This is not the first time for such an incident and previous cases have normally been resolved within hours although obviously the delay to the Ever Given and the others stuck behind and in front of her may well cause a loss of appointed slots at planned ports of call.

Photo: Courtesy of Vessel Finder.