Stranded Suez ship ‘could be free after weekend’ say officials


The mission to refloat the massive container ship stuck in the Suez Canal in Egypt resumed on Saturday – and the Dutch firm tasked with moving the ship said it could be freed by Monday. 

The Ever Given had moved about 17 meters, according to Twitter account @SuezDiggerGuy.

Suez Canal Authority chairman Osama Rabie gave a press conference on Saturday afternoon explaining what efforts had been made, what the current situation is, and what will happen next. 

He said 321 ships remain in the Suez area and are waiting to pass through the canal. With an average of 51 ships per day, it is expected to take several weeks to return traffic to normal. 

Rabine revealed that 14 tug boats have been used in the operation to extricate the stranded vessel. He added that nearly 10,000 tons of ballast had been removed from the Ever Given to attempt to refloat the ship. 

The Authority said it does not want to resort to taking containers off the ship to refloat it, but that remains an option if they cannot free it over the weekend. 

Despite the lengthy delays, Rabie says there is hope on the horizon. Just before the end of operations on Friday, the ship’s rudder and propeller started working again. Even more encouraging for those involved, the stern (rear) of the ship began to move for the first time in five days. 

The refloating operation has been slow due to strong winds and tides, but Rabie said the wind was not the main reason behind the beaching of the container ship, as its owners said it was. Instead, Rabie said “human error” could be behind the costly mistake.\_threads/3351687\_threads/3351688\_1keoLHE0i0RYdc5Xg?language=php