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a high tide raises the hope of liberating the “Ever Given”

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                New operations are in preparation on Sunday to refloat the container ship still stuck across the Suez Canal.

                                    <p>Will the "Ever Given" be unlocked in the next few hours?  New operations are being prepared, Sunday March 28, to try to free the giant 400-meter-long ship which is still obstructing the Suez Canal.  A high tide expected in the evening could make life easier.

A dozen tugs and dredges are mobilized to suck the sand under the ship, whose bow is embedded in the shore. According to Egyptian Suez Canal Authority (SCA) spokesperson George Safwat, some 27,000 cubic meters of sand have already been cleared, 18 meters deep. The container ship was surrounded on Sunday morning by a few tugs.

Two new dredges, currently in the Red Sea, are on the way: the Italian Carlo Magno and the Dutch Alp Guard, according to maritime traffic visualization sites. And two more Egyptian tugs are due to be put into service, according to the SCA.

In a telephone interview with an Egyptian television station on Saturday evening, Admiral Ossama Rabie, chairman of the SCA, claimed that the ship had “moved 30 degrees right and left” for the first time. “This is a good indicator,” he said, of the evolution of the sea giant’s unblocking efforts.

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According to a tweet Sunday from Richard Meade, editor-in-chief of the Lloyd’s List trade journal, “Sources close to the rescue operation told me this morning that optimism in the team of experts was on the rise and that ‘they hoped the ship could be unlocked within 24 to 48 hours. ”

More than 300 boats stuck

The vessel weighing more than 220,000 tons has been stuck since Tuesday in the southern part of the Suez Canal, a few kilometers from the eponymous city, preventing all traffic in this passage which concentrates more than 10% of international maritime trade. As a result, more than 300 boats are stuck at both ends of the canal connecting the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, according to Ossama Rabie.

Each day of blockage causes significant delays and costs for players in the sector, and the first concrete effects are felt: Syria indicated on Saturday that it had started to ration the distribution of fuels, faced with the delay in the delivery of a cargo of oil.

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The canal authorities, for their part, stressed that Egypt was losing between 12 and 14 million dollars per day of closure, while the specialist magazine Lloyd’s List estimates that the container ship blocks the equivalent of around 8 per day, 1 billion euros of goods.

>> To read also: “Suez Canal blocked: what consequences for world trade?”

A “human error”?

Maritime traffic visualization sites such as VesselFinder or Marine Traffic always show on Sunday the dozens of ships waiting in the Gulf of Suez, in the waiting area in the middle of the canal or at its entrance to the Mediterranean, near Port Said. Meanwhile, shipping giant Maersk and Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd said on Thursday that they were planning to divert their ships and go through the Cape of Good Hope, a 9,000-kilometer detour and at least seven days. additional navigation.

Ossama Rabie, who was speaking for the first time at a press conference on Saturday, referred to a possible “human error” as being at the origin of the incident. According to him, the weather conditions initially mentioned were not the only reason for the grounding.

With AFP


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