MV Ever Given has been refloated according to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) director, Admiral Osama Rabie. “This was the result of successful push and tow maneuvers which led to the restoration of 80% of the vessel’s direction.” In addition to up to eight high powered tug boats, salvage crews from the Dutch company Smit Salvage worked to remove dirt from the bow of the ship where it ran aground. The current suspected theory is the a sudden gust of wind hit the ship and blew it into the side of the canal where it became grounded and the stern of the ship then reached the opposite side of the canal, blocking the entire canal.
SCA officials said the MV Ever Given will be taken to the Great Bitter Lake where it will be inspected for damage and sea worthiness, this will allow the 367 ships that have now backed up to begin transiting the important waterway. While the MV Ever Given has been reorientated to 80%, meaning it is nearly facing the correct direction in the canal, the bow of the ship remains lodged into the side of the canal. Smit Salvage warned that even with refloating and re-orientating the ship, unless the bow can be freed, they might still have to offload many containers in order to get the front floating again which could take another week.
The Suez Canal carries an average of $335 million worth of cargo through it every hour. 90% of global trade is by ship, with everything from smartphones, clothing, food, building materials, automobiles, medical supplies and toys transported by ship as it is the most economical mode of transport and the least harmful to the environment. The Suez Canal is an important shortcut so ships don’t have to take the much longer route around the African continent.