Cautious optimism as Ever Given partially refloated

Mar 29, 2021 | Article, News

After days of strenuous efforts, the Ever Given has been partially refloated in the Suez Canal. According to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), the vessel’s stern is now 102 metres clear of canal banks as a result of “successful push and tow manoeuvers which led to the restoration of 80% of the vessel’s direction”.

Further manouevres will resume at 11.30a.m. local time as salvage teams and the SCA look to take advantage of high tide. Currently the bow of the Ever Given is still stuck firm in the clay that lines the canal.

Admiral Osama Rabie, chairman and managing director of the SCA commended the “heroic feat” of his workers stating that they “have done their patriotic duty impeccably and that in all certainty work will be complete very soon”.

With nearly 350 vessels now caught in the Suez logjam, the entire global supply chain community will be hoping this assessment of the situation proves accurate. However, “Don’t cheer too soon” was the message from Peter Berdowski, chief exec of Boskalis, the salvage specialists tasked with moving the Ever Given.  Mr Boskalis told Dutch NPO Radio 1: “The good news is that the stern is free but we saw that as the simplest part of the job.”

Once the Ever Given is eventually freed, Evergreen’s 20,000 TEU boxship is likely to be towed to the (far wider) Bitter Lakes waiting area for technical inspection, allowing transit of this crucial trading artery to resume. Despite the positive developments, shipping lines have understandably been quick to react to the Suez crisis – diverting dozens of services around the southern tip of Africa.

Global ship tracking intelligence provider Marine Traffic has “decided to improve visibility in the area by allowing everyone to see vessel positions captured by satellites”, which you can access here

For more information please call us on 01375 414 331 or email info@ugroup.co.uk

Photo courtesy of the Suez Canal Authority

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