Ever Given breakthrough raises hopes of reopening Suez Canal

Ever Given successfully refloated

There is hope that vessels will soon be able to transit the Suez Canal again after the Ever Given was partially refloated.

According to Leth Agencies, the vessel was refloated in the early hours of the 29 March 2021, after an “impressive effort and coordination by the Suez Canal Authority” (SCA).

The breakthrough comes after what Leth Agencies described as a “coordinated operation of tugs and dredgers”. Admiral Osama Rabie, Chairman of SCA, said scope of the dredging and drilling will be expanded to the bow area.

By removing the sides of the canal in that area, and bring it to a depth of 18m, the shop should be refloated, Leth Agencies said.

In a separate statement, the SCA said “80% of the vessel’s direction” has been restored and that traffic in the canal will resume once the way is clear.

An earlier update from Evergreen Line said approximately 20,000 tons of sand and mud had been removed from around the vessel’s bow and that its rudder and propeller are fully functional.

The blocking of the Suez Canal last week has caused chaos across the global supply chain and halted passage through one of the busiest waterways in the world. It has also stoked fears of potential disruption and congestion at Europe’s ports in the coming weeks and months.

As of the 29 March 2021 there were a total of 367 vessels waiting to pass in the Suez Canal area – 154 waiting at Port Said Anchorage North, 41 in Great Bitter Lake and 171 at Port Anchorage South.

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