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EVER GIVEN finally freed opening up Suez Canal

The 20,000 TEU container vessel EVER GIVEN has finally been freed from the Suez Canal after being blocked for a week. Traffic can now continue to pass through the canal in both directions from 19:00 local time.

The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, forming a passage from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez and dividing Africa and Asia. It is one of the busiest shipping routes in the world.

Hundreds of ships have been waiting to pass ever since the vessel grounded, causing a blockage on 23 March which is estimated to have racked up nearly $10 billion worth of disruptions in shipping traffic each day.

With a length of 400 meters and a width of nearly 60 meters, the vessel was freed by dredging and heavylift company Boskalis. For the refloating of the container vessel approximately 30,000 cubic meters of sand was dredged to help free the vessel and a total of eleven harbor tugs and two powerful seagoing tugs (Alp Guard and Carlo Magna) were deployed. The vessel is towed to a location outside the channel for further inspection.

Peter Berdowski, CEO Boskalis: “Shortly following the grounding of the Ever Given we were requested through SMIT Salvage to provide assistance with the salvage operation. I am excited to announce that our team of experts, working in close collaboration with the Suez Canal Authority, successfully refloated the Ever Given on 29 March at 15:05 hrs local time, thereby making free passage through the Suez Canal possible again. I’m extremely proud of the outstanding job done by the team on site as well as the many SMIT Salvage and Boskalis colleagues back home to complete this challenging operation under the watchful eye of the world. The time pressure to complete this operation was evident and unprecedented and the result is a true display of our unique capabilities as a dredging and marine services provider.”

Image: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data 2021, CC BY 2.0 <
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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