Suez Canal ship ‘now moving,’ owner says

Vessel still not fully afloat as work continues to clear vital shipping lane

The Ever Given, the ship that has been stranded in the Suez Canal for almost a week, is now moving — raising hope that an end is in sight to a blockage of one of the world’s busiest maritime lanes.

As reports emerged from Egypt that the ship was now moving, Shoei Kisen, the ship’s Japanese owner, told Nikkei that the bow of the Ever Given has “turned slightly.” The vessel is still not fully afloat, the company said.

Despite the initial hope to rescue the ship on Saturday, the grounded part of the ship was “heavier than expected,” Toshiaki Fujiwara, senior managing director, told Nikkei. “That was why it was not successful” over the weekend, he said.

Inchcape Shipping Services, a provider of maritime services, earlier said in a tweet that the Ever Given, a containership 400 meters long and weighing more than 200,000 tons, “was successfully re-floated at 04:30” local time.

“She is being secured at the moment. More information about next steps will follow once they are known,” Inchcape said.

The ship became stranded in the canal on March 23, bringing one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes to a standstill and sparking fears of disruption to world trade. About 12% of global trade goes through Suez.

Teams using excavators and tugs were battling to free the ship and hoping they could make enough headway for the vessel to float on a rising tide.

If not then Egypt’s government has been preparing to contemplate removing the cargo from the vessel — a complex and time-consuming operation that would involve handling thousands of containers far from the usual port facilities.

Sources: News Agencies

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