By Jennifer Ugwueke
Evergreen Ship stuck in the Suez Canal for almost a week has been refloated and the canal open for international trade.
The Evergreen ship was successfully turned by an Egyptian crew in the Suez Canal early Monday morning, after it was stuck for nearly a week, according to canal authorities.
The massive ship’s grounding impeded international trade, resulting in a pileup with hundreds of vessels in the canal.
The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) confirmed in a statement that the ship is now partially floated and turned in the “right direction.” Canal service firms and maritime service providers previously reported the ship was once again afloat.
The authority’s Chief, Osama Rabie, said workers used “pulling maneuvers” to move the ship.
The shipping traffic monitoring site, MarieTraffic.com, said satellite data showed the ship’s bow has been moved, but there is “still some work to do.”
Videos posted by several reporters on Twitter showed tug boat teams celebrating as the front of the ship appeared to be moving in the canal once again.
Other videos showed the ship positioned straight in the canal, no longer fully wedged across.
It’s still unclear when the canal will reopen for traffic now that the vessel has been dislodged.
Excavators have been working around the clock to dig out and vacuum up a massive amount of sand and mud around the ship, while tug boat crews have been working to reposition it.
The SCA said tug boat teams will resume work again later this morning when water levels in the canal rise in a bid to completely free the stuck ship.
Canal officials say the higher water levels should enable tug teams to pull the boat further into the center of the canal.
On March 23, the Ever Given was passing through a single-lane portion of the Suez Canal when it veered off course during a sandstorm.
Although authorities had blamed strong winds for the ship’s grounding last Tuesday, Transport Authority Chief Rabie had believed it could have been possibly due to “human error.”
The 400-meter (430-yard) long Ever Given was en route from Malaysia to the Netherlands when it got stuck.
The ship, registered in Panama, is owned by Japanese company Imabari Shipbuilding and operated by shipping firm Evergreen Marine, DW reported.