113 container ships transit Suez Canal after Ever Given re-floated

March 30, 2021 | Updated 7:24 pm

113 container ships transit Suez Canal after Ever Given re-floated Photo taken on March 29, 2021 shows the container ship Ever Given moving on the Suez Canal, Egypt. (Xinhua/Wu Huiwo)

Cairo: At least 113 container ships have passed through the Suez Canal that was blocked by a massive cargo container, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Osama Rabie said on Tuesday.

Rabie said in a televised press conference that “113 out of the 422 ships that have crowded the canal since March 23 have crossed the international busiest navigation course.”

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said that “the incident of the Ever Given blocking the Suez Canal has reaffirmed the importance of the canal.”

“The crisis was big,” the president said during his visit to the Maritime Training and Simulation Centre of the Suez Canal Authority in Ismailia, adding that the problem was “solved without losses in the lives or the ship.”

He urged the government to buy more dredges and tug boats to improve the capabilities of the SCA in light of the flow of massive containers into the canal. He thanked the SCA workers and all the Egyptians who contributed technically and practically to ending the crisis.

On Monday, the SCA announced the stranded giant vessel was successfully refloated in the canal. The ship sailed toward The Bitter Lakes for inspection

Navigation through the canal was officially resumed on Monday. Rabie said daily losses of the canal due to the six-day blockage caused by the Ever Given ship is estimated at 12-15 million U.S. dollars

He said a personal error or a technical error is likely to have caused the ship to run aground beside the strong dust and wind. He added that all the rescue equipment were belonging to the SCA except for two giant tugboats, one from the Netherlands and the other from Italy.

Linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, the Suez Canal is a major lifeline for global seaborne trade since it allows ships to travel between Europe and South Asia without navigating around Africa, thereby reducing the sea voyage distance between Europe and India by about 7,000 km. Some 12 per cent of the world trade volume passes through the Suez Canal.

(Xinhua)