Monday 29 March 2021
“Ever Given” fixed on the Suez Canal
Salvage company denies ship exemption
“Something is moving, that’s the good news.” However, according to the salvage company responsible, there can be no talk of a liberation of the freighter “Ever Given” in the Suez Canal. The German Transport Minister Scheuer is also dampening expectations.
The Dutch salvage company deployed on the wrecked container ship “Ever Given” has warned against premature cheers about the opening of the canal. The “Ever Given” was only exposed at the rear. “But the bow is still completely stuck,” said Peter Berdowski, head of the Boskalis company on Dutch radio. “Something is moving, that’s the good news,” he said. But it is too early to give the all-clear.
During the night, the stern was detached from the ground with the help of a heavy tug. This enabled the 400 meter long ship to turn 20 degrees. The most difficult thing is to detach the bug, according to the Boskalis boss. He is lying “like a whale on the beach”. The salvage team now hope to use another tug to free the ship completely during the day. Should that not succeed, containers might have to be unloaded. According to the expert, this is very time-consuming.
Normalization still takes days
Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer has not yet seen the all-clear for the situation on the Suez Canal. The CSU politician said: “After the direct feedback from the site, the ship is not yet free.” The bow is still sitting on sand. Another suction excavator, which is supposed to wash away the sand under the bow, should arrive on Tuesday. Regarding the attempt to tow the ship free in the course of the day at high tide, the minister said: “We are currently analyzing the impact of the congestion with so many affected ships on the logistics, especially on the supply chains.”
Even if the complete liberation of the “Ever Given” succeeds today, it could still take several days for the shipping traffic there to normalize, according to Egypt. After the full recovery, the canal will immediately “work 24 hours a day,” said the chief of the canal authority (SCA), Osama Rabie. Nevertheless, it will still take “around three and a half days” until the ship traffic jam on the canal is resolved. The “Ever Given” got into a sandstorm last week and ran aground. The ship was then stuck across the narrow channel, in front of and behind more than 400 ships.