The director of the Suez Canal Authority, Osama Rabee ‘, said Saturday that bad weather was not the main reason for the delinquency of the huge container ship in the waterway.
He added in a press conference in the city of Suez: “The winds and the dust storm were not the main reason for the ship’s stranding, but this is what we have now .. and it may be a technical error or a personal error .. All of this will appear in the investigations.”
Rabei added, “I do not think it is a deliberate accident, and we have asked the captain of the ship to preserve all written, photographed and recorded documents until the investigations are completed after the ship floats.”
He said, “We were very optimistic yesterday and the ship was responding … We may end today or tomorrow, depending on the current situation and the speed of the tide.”
The container ship “MV Evergiven”, which is the longest of four football stadiums, ran aground in the course of the Suez Canal since Tuesday morning, impeding the navigation movement for the fifth day in both directions in the very important waterway.
The disruption of navigation led to traffic congestion in the canal and the formation of a long queue of more than 300 ships that were crossing the canal, which is 193 kilometers long, causing severe delays in the deliveries of oil and other products.
Rabie estimated the daily losses of the Suez Canal due to disrupted navigation at between 12 and 14 million dollars.
Rabei clarified during Saturday’s conference that the location of the ship’s stranding is not the new Suez Canal “as it is claimed,” but rather the beginning of the southern entrance to the original Suez Canal.
On the flotation process, Rabie said that there are currently 14 locomotives working to float the ship after the end of the dredging operations, indicating that the equipment and machinery used belong to the Suez Canal Authority.
He added that the authority is currently working only with the Dutch company, “Smit Salvage”, which specializes in rescue operations for stricken ships, but has received offers for assistance that it is currently studying from the United States, China, Greece and the UAE.
The company, “Smit Salvage” previously confirmed that “two additional locomotives” will arrive by Sunday to the canal to help.
“It is not easy to determine how much time we will take if we unload (the cargo), and this is subject to technical issues,” the company’s official said at Saturday’s conference. “We are fully confident that the operation will be completed successfully, as are similar operations,” he added.
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