Wreck in the Suez Canal
“Slight movement” when uncovering the “Ever Given” – owner hopes to be rescued today
The wrecked “Ever Given” is still stuck in the Suez Canal, but the recovery work has recently made progress. The Japanese owner is optimistic, the US Navy offered help.
The hoped-for uncovering of the container ship “Ever Given”, which is blocking the Suez Canal, is progressing a little. The shipping and logistics company GAC spoke on Saturday of more than ten tugs and three dredgers that are in use to reopen one of the world’s most important waterways for trade. There is “slight movement”. The freighter is still aground.
According to the owner, “Ever Given” is undamaged
The owner of the container ship “Ever Given”, which is stuck in the Suez Canal, is hoping that the freighter will be salvaged later that day. There are no indications that the ship’s engines have been damaged, said the head of the Japanese company Shoei Kisen, Yukito Higaki, according to Japanese media reports at a press conference. The aim of his company is to “free” the giant container on Saturday evening Japanese time.
No water got into the “Ever Given”. There are also no problems with his rudder or the propellers. “As soon as it moves again, it should be operational,” Higaki assured, according to the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun. Work on removing sediment under the bow continued. “Additional excavator equipment” would also be used.
The 400-meter-long and more than 220,000-tonne container ship “Ever Given” had gone off course in a sandstorm and ran aground near the banks of the Suez Canal. Since then it has blocked the waterway between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, and all ships in it cannot continue. Most recently, more than 200 ships were stowed on both sides of the canal. German companies also fear delivery bottlenecks.
Efforts on site to get the ship free have been in full swing since Wednesday. However, there are fears that the rescue work could drag on for weeks. Another attempt to free the ship from its deadlocked position had failed on Friday. According to the Singapore-based company Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), who is responsible for the technical management of the container ship, two more tugs are expected in the Suez Canal on Sunday to help with the rescue.
A team of experts from the US Navy is available for assistance
In view of the ongoing blockade, the US Army offered its support on Friday (local time). “As part of our active diplomatic dialogue with Egypt, we have offered US assistance to the Egyptian authorities in reopening the canal,” said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki in Washington. A team of experts from the US Navy could quickly be dispatched to the Suez Canal.
Talks with Cairo about US support were ongoing, added Psaki. US Central Command spokesman Bill Urban said the naval experts would be ready in the event of a request from Egypt. A central task of the Central Command responsible for the Middle East is the protection of the merchant ships in the region.
A US Department of Defense representative, who did not want to be named, said Washington had offered to send a team of experts from the Navy. If Egypt makes a formal request, the team could set out from the US naval base in Bahrain on Saturday.
In addition, the US Army could advise and support the workforce of ships that, because of the blockade of the canal, decided to detour via the Cape of Good Hope, i.e. around Africa, and could encounter pirates. “We can certainly advise, but we cannot escort them all,” said the US representative.