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Refloating the Suez Canal can take weeks: ‘Very heavy whale on the beach’ | NOW

Refloating one of the largest container ships in the world in the Suez Canal can take days or even weeks, says Boskalis CEO in News hour. A team from the Dutch dredging company arrived in Egypt on Thursday morning to help.

Boskalis is the only company worldwide that has been asked to help get the ship running smoothly. “Because of our global reach, people are able to find us quite quickly when it comes to salvage activities,” said a spokesman.

CEO Peter Berdowski says that his team will first look at how the ship is. “They go on board themselves,” he says. At the same time, as much technical information about the ship as possible will be collected, also via satellite. The team uses all that information to come up with ways to get the ship off.

That will not be easy, Berdowski emphasizes. “It is, in a manner of speaking, a very heavy whale on the beach,” he says about the ship, which has twenty thousand fully loaded containers on it. At the front, the ship is at least one meter on the slope. “That means that an enormous weight is on the sandbank.”

According to Berdowski, some of that weight can be removed. Water and oil can be removed from the ship and containers can be removed from the ship. After that, dredging can take place and the ship can come off the bottom.

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“But the more securely the ship is, the longer an operation takes. It can take days to weeks. Also consider bringing in all the equipment we need, which is not around the corner,” he says. News hour.

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