Suez Canal blocked by stranded Evergreen boxship
An ultra-large container ship operated by Evergreen ran aground on the Suez Canal on Tuesday, blocking traffic on one of the world’s most important waterways.
A picture taken by crew on board another ship in the canal, the Maersk Denver, shows the 2018-built 20,388 TEU Ever Given, which was en route from Shenzhen to Rotterdam, blocking the canal in both directions after it got stuck near the Red Sea entrance of the canal yesterday morning.
A large backlog of ships is now massing on either side of the waterway, waiting to go through.
An Egyptian official who spoke to the Associated Press confirmed that efforts to remove the ship would take at least two days and blamed a strong 50 km/h gust of wind for the accident.
Multiple reports cite local agents saying the ship lost power before veering starboard, with its bulbous bow becoming lodged into the bank of the canal. Diggers are currently trying to dig around the bow, while Egypt has mustered every available tug to shift the giant 399 m long vessel.
Leth Agencies reports today that seven tugs have been assisting the Ever Given thus far, while canal authorities have dispatched a dredger to help in the re-floating efforts.
The vessel, built by Imabari, was among the first series of ships over 20,000 TEU to be constructed in Japan. It is the largest ship to run aground in the 152-year history of the key artery linking Europe with Asia.