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Senin, 29 Maret 2021

Suez Canal ship: Ever Given on move and waterway reopens to traffic after refloating - NEWS.com.au

The huge container ship that was blocking the Suez Canal is on the move with the waterway reopened to traffic almost a week after the megaship got stuck.

The Suez Canal Authority announced the news as local TV images showed the Ever Given moving slowly along with canal as horns blared in celebration.

“Admiral Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority, has announced the resumption of shipping traffic in the Suez Canal,” the SCA said in a statement.

The ship is no longer grounded and is now heading north from the southern end of the canal towards Great Bitter Lake, according to Leth Agencies, allowing more than 400 waiting vessels to follow.

RELATED: Incredible footage shows Suez chaos

In a chaotic start, the vessel was refloated before becoming stuck again as it swung back to block the waterway in high winds — but it did not become regrounded, with its bow remaining afloat, according to Reuters.

The colossal craft then started to move away from the canal’s western bank, according to maritime traffic tracking sites Vesselfinder and myshiptracking.

Two local shipping sources told Reuters it had returned to its “normal course”.

The salvage firm hired to extract the ship confirmed the success of the intensive operation to free the hulking craft at around 3pm local time.

RELATED: Tanker partially refloated a week after veering off course

“I am excited to announce that our team of experts, working in close collaboration with the Suez Canal Authority, successfully refloated the Ever Given on 29 March at 15:05 hrs local time, thereby making free passage through the Suez Canal possible again,” said Boskalis CEO Peter Berdowski.

“I’m extremely proud of the outstanding job done by the team on site as well as the many SMIT Salvage and Boskalis colleagues back home to complete this challenging operation under the watchful eye of the world.

“The time pressure to complete this operation was evident and unprecedented.”

The Japanese-owned, Panama-flagged ship was turned in the right direction earlier on Monday before it was refloated, with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi praising the operation.

“Today the Egyptians succeeded in ending the crisis of the grounded ship in the Suez Canal, despite massive technical complications which engulfed this operation,” he said in a tweet on Monday.

“I thank every honest Egyptian who took part technically or practically to end this crisis.”

Mr Rabie said it could take around three-and-a-half days to clear the traffic jam of ships stuck behind the 200,000-tonne ship, praising rescue efforts.

Longer than four football fields, the 400-metre-long and 59-metre wide vessel MV Ever Given became wedged diagonally across the canal during a sandstorm last Tuesday, strangling world supply chains.

Officials blamed the sandstorm and 40-knot gusts for the blockage but Mr Rabie on Saturday said “technical or human errors” could have led to the grounding of the Taiwan-run container ship near the southern end of the 193-kilometre long canal.

Maritime data company Lloyd’s List said the blockage had been holding up an estimated $US9.6 billion worth of cargo each day between Asia and Europe, with the tailback of ships reaching 425 at the two ends of the canal, in the Mediterranean and Red Sea.

The world was celebrating too, with one retired general calling it a “relief” and saying the huge affect on oil prices and global trade underlined our “interdependence”.

Around 27,000 cubic metres of sand were cleared at a depth of 18 metres, SCA spokesman George Safwat said Sunday.

The crisis has forced companies to choose between waiting or rerouting vessels around Africa, which adds a huge fuel bill, 9,000 kilometres and over a week of travel to the trip between Asia and Europe.

Russia offered assistance Sunday, following other countries including the United States that have made similar offers.

The repercussions from the Suez blockage have been huge, with Reuters reporting that shipping rates for oil product tankers nearly doubled after the ship ran aground and war-torn Syria forced to ration already scarce supplies after its fuel imports from Iran took a hit.

The blockage disrupted global supply chains and affected dozens of ships carrying livestock, with the charity Animals International warned of a potential “tragedy” affecting 130,000 animals.

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2021-03-29 15:05:44Z
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