It can take weeks to free the Suez Canal, experts say

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The massive container ship which blocked the could take weeks to move, the company working to dislodge it said. A team of expert salvors from Smit Salvage have been called in to assist with the operation. The ship became horizontally wedged in the waterway following heavy winds. The enormous cargo carrier is more than 1,300 feet long and about 193 feet wide. It weighs more than 200,000 tons. There were no reports of injuries among the 25 crew members. “We can’t exclude it might take weeks, depending on the situation,” said Peter Berdowski, CEO of Dutch company Boskalis. “Dredgers are working to clear sand and mud from around the vessel to free her. Tugboats in conjunction with Ever Given’s winches are working to shift the vessel,” Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement said Wednesday evening. Satellite images showed a buildup of ships on either end of the waterway as the Ever Given halted the flow of traffic.

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Marine and salvage engineers failed in their latest attempt on Thursday. About 12% of global trade passes through the canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. More than 150 vessels are currently waiting in the area. An alternative route, around the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa, can take two weeks longer. “We sincerely apologise for causing a great deal of worry to ships in the and those planning to go through the canal,” Shoei Kisen Kaisha, the owner of the blocked ship said in a statement.