The Suez Canal was blocked by a huge container ship Panama-flagged which turned sideways. The 220,000-tonne, 400 meter-long Ever Given, with a length of nearly 400 meters – a so-called “mega ship” – became stuck near the southern end of the canal on Tuesday by a “gust of wind.” The Ever Given was part of a northbound convoy when the incident occurred.This caused a huge traffic jam of vessels. Many tug boats surrounded the ship, likely attempting to push it the right way. Several attempts to refloat it have failed. “The company has urged the shipowner to report the cause of the incident and has been in discussions with relevant parties including the canal management authority to assist the ship as soon as possible,” the ship’s operator, Evergreen Marine Corp, told in a statement. The ship is carrying hundreds of containers bound for Rotterdam from China.
In the canal there were “a lot of fully-laden” tankers stuck carrying Saudi, Russian, Omani and US oil. The Suez canal is one of the most important waterways in the world and links the Mediterranean with the Red Sea and shipping lanes to Asia. Traffic stopped.Ships have been grounded in the canal before. In 2017, a Japanese ship became stuck but was refloated within hours. A more serious incident occurred near the German port of Hamburg in 2016 when the massive CSCL Indian Ocean ran aground and needed 12 tugs to set it free after five days.