Another Ship Got Stuck In The Suez Canal – And Blocked Traffic

The Suez Canal was blocked again for a short period after a tanker, Affinity V, ran very close to where Ever Given was stuck for nearly a week last year.

The blockage of the Suez Canal was reported in global headlines in March of 2021 when one of the largest containers of all times, Ever Given, ran aground. It took the relevant authorities six days to get the giant ship wading in the water again. This incident stalled marine cargo traffic on the shortest route between Europe and Asia.

After the incident, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) paced up the construction of a second channel in the canal, allowing ships to pass in both directions. However, the works are expected to be completed only by 2023.

Affinity V is 820 feet (250 m) long and 147 feet (45 m) wide oil tanker. It weighs 64,000 tons and is owned by a Singaporean company. It had sailed from Portugal and was en route to the port of Yanbu in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea.

While going through the Suez Canal, the ship’s rudder underwent a technical failure which affected its ability to steer itself, the Suez Canal Authority said in a press release. The ship ran aground near the 143 km mark in the canal at around 7:15 pm local time, which began blocking traffic at the canal.

The SCA’s salvage units and tugboats started their efforts and coordinated with traffic control at port Tawfiq to get the tanker afloat again. Five tugboats were deployed for the fast intervention, which saw the oil tanker afloat again five hours later.

Affinity V’s problems do not just end here. Having lost its ability to steer itself, the tanker is now depending on tugboats to reach a port, ship monitoring service, TankerTrackers tweeted. The tanker is now in the Gulf of Suez.

With traffic in the Suez Canal now having been restored to normalcy, we can only hope that the construction of the other channel is completed soon so the operation of the newly installed swing bridge also becomes the new normal at the canal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *