Following a salvage operation involving both local and international organisations, the containership Ever Given, which ran aground and ended up blocking traffic in both directions along the Suez Canal early last week, was fully refloated on Monday, March 29.
The successful effort was concluded at 15:05 local time on Monday, thereby making free passage through the canal possible once again, Dutch marine contractor Boskalis said in a press release issued later that same day.
Boskalis, through subsidiary Smit Salvage, worked in close collaboration with the Suez Canal Authority to refloat Ever Given.
The news follows initial reports on Monday stating that the stern of the 400-metre vessel has been freed from where it had ended up on one of the banks within the canal.
Vessel charterer Evergreen Marine Corporation said in an earlier statement that Ever Given‘s rudder and propeller were both fully functional, allowing them to be used to provide additional support to tugs assigned to the refloating effort.
Salvors said that the 400-metre vessel’s bow had remained stuck on sandy clay on the other bank, even though the vessel itself has been rotated about 20 degrees.
The refloating attempt, which also involves vessels including those originating from the Netherlands, had to be temporarily suspended and was resumed at high tide in the late morning of Monday.
Boskalis CEO Peter Berdowski has confirmed that dredging equipment was used to direct water underneath Ever Given‘s hull to help in removing the bow from its present position on the canal bank. Approximately 30,000 cubic metres of sand was dredged to help free the vessel while 11 harbour tugs and two seagoing tugs were also deployed.
The containership has since been towed to a location outside the channel for further inspection.
Over 300 ships had become stranded on both sides of the Suez Canal in the wake of the grounding incident on Tuesday, March 23.
Vessel owner Shoei Kisen has since issued a statement apologising for the grounding incident. Observers nonetheless remarked that the company and the vessel’s insurers will still likely face claims amounting to millions of dollars despite the successful refloating.
Editor’s Note: This news story was updated at 15:00 UTC on Monday, March 29, shortly after news of Ever Given‘s successful refloating became available on the same day.
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