Dredging crews are moving massive amounts of sand to free a skyscraper-size container ship stuck sideways in the Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.
A salvage company will try to free the ship Saturday using large tugboats and dredging during a high tide, the AP reported. At least two attempts will be made. Salvagers are also considering moving containers off the ship, to lighten it and make it easier to move.
The 1,312-foot, 200,000 metric ton Ever Given – nearly a quarter-mile long – created a shipper’s nightmare and captured the public’s imagination when it blocked the canal on Tuesday and caused a traffic jam of more than 200 ships as of Friday.
An attempt to refloat the ship Friday failed, said Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the company that manages the vessel. CNN said the U.S. Navy has offered to assist.
How did it happen?
The Ever Given is stuck near the Egyptian city of Suez, about 3.7 miles north of the canal’s southern entrance. It’s in a narrow section of the canal, about 985 feet wide.
Owners say high wind in a sandstorm pushed the ship sideways, wedging it into both banks of the waterway. Containers stacked on deck may have acted as a sail.
The bow is aground on the eastern bank and the stern is on the western.
The AP reported that at least 280 ships, carrying everything from cars to oil to grain, wait at the canal’s northern and southern entrances. It said an analysis by data firm Refinitiv showed more than 300 ships were en route…