A cargo ship which has caused chaos after being trapped in the Suez canal has finally been freed.
The MV Ever Given, a Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned ship that carries cargo between Asia and Europe, got stuck Tuesday in a single-lane stretch of the Suez Canal.
In the time since, authorities had been unable to unstick the vessel and traffic through the canal — valued at over US$9 billion a day — has been halted, further disrupting a global shipping network already strained by the coronavirus pandemic.
On Sunday about 4.30am (local time), teams managed to finally free the ship, maritime services provider Inchcape tweeted.
“She is being secured at the moment,” it tweeted.
“More information about next steps will follow once they are known.”
Ship-tracking service VesselFinder has changed the ship's status to under way on its website.
It is not clear when or if vessels will begin using the canal again straight away.
At least 369 vessels were waiting to transit the canal, including dozens of container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels, SCA Chairman Osama Rabie told Egypt's Extra News on Sunday.
Lieutenant General Osama Rabei, the head of the Suez Canal Authority, said workers continued “pulling maneuvers” to re-float the vessel early Monday.
Overnight, several dredgers had toiled to vacuum up 27,000 cubic meters of sand and mud around the ship. Another powerful tugboat, Carlo Magno, was racing to the scene to join the efforts.
Although the vessel is vulnerable to damage in its current position, Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd, the company that owns the Ever Given, dismissed concerns on Monday, saying that the ship’s engine was functional and it could pursue its trip normally when freed.
with The Associated Press and Reuters
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