VIDEO. Suez Canal: Beginning of the “successful” Ever Given Refloating

The main clearance on the horizon: According to the Canal Authority, the floatation of the container ship Ever Given began “successfully” on Monday morning. The ship was brought back 80% in the “right direction”. The 400-meter-long ship, which has been blocking the Suez Canal for almost a week, has caused billions in losses since Tuesday.

“The resuscitation maneuvers will resume after 11:30 am local time (9:30 am GMT),” said Ossama Rabie, chairman of the canal authority.

He states that the water had to reach a sufficient level “to bring the ship fully afloat and reposition it in the middle of the waterway”.

Without giving details of the waterway’s reopening, the Egyptian official said that shipping would resume “at the end of the ship’s entire float, which is then directed to the waiting area” to clear the canal.

The Canal Authority (SCA) also said in a statement Monday morning that the stern of Ever Given is 102 meters from the shore, compared to just four meters previously.

The shipowner said Monday morning that the container ship was “turned” but not yet floating, according to a spokesman for Shoei Kisen, the Japanese company that owns the ship.

Early Monday morning, the stern of the 200,000-ton ship was pulled away from the west side of the canal on Monday morning, according to Vesselfinder and myshiptracking. This was confirmed to AFP by a source on condition of anonymity on the Suez Canal.

These advances can be attributed to several rescue operations on Sunday evening: The sea service provider Leth Agencies tweeted that the operation had been postponed “until the tugboat was strong enough” to get the stranded ship afloat again.

SCA spokesman George Safwat said on Sunday morning that 27,000 m3 of sand had already been cleared at a depth of 18 meters. However, authorities admit they have encountered difficulties, particularly due to the “rocky” nature of the soil.

At least a dozen tugs and dredges were deployed to vacuum sand from under the ship.

400 ships are still stranded

According to the SCA, almost 400 ships were stuck on Sunday at the end and in the middle of the canal that connects the Red Sea with the Mediterranean.

Insurance company Allianz estimated on Friday that each day off could cost world trade between $ 6 billion and $ 10 billion.

And the first consequences are already being felt: Syria said on Saturday it had started rationing fuel, given the delay in the delivery of an oil shipment. Eleven ships from Romania with 130,000 sheep are also affected.

The total value of goods blocked or forced to take another route is estimated to vary between $ 3 billion and $ 9.6 billion.

Oil prices have risen sharply since the incident began. Canal authorities said Egypt lost between $ 12 million and $ 14 million a day of closure. According to SCA, almost 19,000 ships used the canal in 2020.