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Ever Given Cargo Vessel Blocking Suez Canal, Finally Freed

by Maureen Blas / Mar 30, 2021 04:53 AM EDT
Ever Given Cargo Vessel Blocking Suez Canal, Finally Freed

After almost a week of getting stuck, the massive Ever Given cargo vessel has been freed at last. A small fleet of tugboats pulled the protruding bow of the colossal ship, with the high tide's help, from the sandy bank where it was completely wedged since Tuesday, March 23. The salvage team also displaces vast quantities of sand to help free the stranded cargo ship. 

The cargo ship, which measures 1,400-foot-long, was bogged down diagonally, blocking hundreds of other vessels to pass through the Suez Canal. This incident has jeopardized the shipment of oil and gas from the Middle East to Europe. The shipping rates for oil product tankers almost doubled after becoming stranded. 

The gigantic vessel approached the Great Bitter Lake, where it will be inspected. The lake extends halfway between the north and south ends of the canal. Dredgers worked the whole week to free the stranded Ever Given. The analysis will verify its seaworthiness and if the vessel can resume its slated service.

"We pulled it off!" shouted Peter Berdowski in jubilation. Berdowski is the CEO of Boskalis salvage firm hired to extricate the Ever Given from becoming stranded. "I am excited to announce that our team of experts, working in close collaboration with the Suez Canal Authority, successfully refloated the Ever Given, thereby, making free passage through the Suez Canal possible again."

Due to a sandstorm, the Ever Given had been driven into a bank of the channel's one-lane stretch. The expanse measures around 6 kilometers or 3.7 miles north of the southern gateway. The blockage started a huge traffic jam that stalled $9 billion each day in worldwide trade. Additionally, it impaired supply chains already held back by the Coronarivus pandemic.

If the obstruction of Egypt's Suez Canal persisted, shippers might have been compelled to reroute their shiploads around the Cape of Good Hope in the southern part of Africa. However, this also means additional two-week navigation, not to mention extra fuel costs.  

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