After putting in tons of effort for about a week to free the massive Ever Given ship, the experts have now announced the monumental task is completed by employing loads of elbow grease and aid from the peak of powerful tides.
It took ten tugboats to wrench the gigantic ship that equals the size of the Empire State Building. It was pulled back onto the canal by a dredging ship, known as the Mashhour, that can shift more than 70,000 cubic feet of sand an hour. The tug boats were employed in a pull and push job, where they continued trying to free the ship by vacuuming the mud and sand from its bow.
The Japanese-owned Ever Given was stuck in a diagonal position where it had been resting for a week now, blocking the major trade route of the Suez canal that accounts for 12 percent of the world’s total trade. The Wall Street Journal Reported, “Aided by a high tide; the tugboats helped pull the vessel out from the side of the canal, straightening its heading as it slowly began to move.”
After freeing it from the sandy banks, the salvagers headed the Ever Given towards the Great Bitter Lake, a wide water body between the north and south end of the canal. MarineTraffic.com, using satellite data, confirmed that Ever Given was on its way at an approximate speed of 1.5 knots from the Suez Canal to the center of the most important global trade route on March 29.
Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis, said, “We pulled it off and dislodged the 200,000 ton Ever Given, which measured at 1200 feet equals the size of four football fields.”
“I am excited to announce that our team of experts, working in close collaboration with the Suez Canal Authority, successfully refloated the Ever Given, thereby making free passage through the Suez Canal possible again,” read his statement.
After the massive ship was freed, Suez Canal authorities stated that Ever Given will now undergo a technical inspection before continuing its journey that had been delayed for a week now. It is yet not confirmed whether the Ever Given carrying goods from Asia to Europe will continue its journey to Rotterdam, its initial destination, or if it would land another port for further inspection and repair works. Moreover, it is still unclear when the Suez Canal reopens as a regular trade route, as there is a total of 365 ships stuck behind the giant vessel during the week of havoc.
The stuck vessel held up $9 billion in global trade each day, given the massive water traffic jam and straining trade already burdened by the ongoing pandemic. It could approximately take 10 days to clear the flotilla, as per the data from Refinitiv states.
“Admiral Osama Rabie, the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, announces the resumption of maritime traffic in the Suez Canal after the Authority successfully rescues and floats the giant Panamanian container ship EVER GIVEN,” a statement from the Suez Canal Authority stated. An official involved in the rescue operation said, “she’s finally free.”