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March 26, 2021
A heavy cargo ship flying the Panamanian flag ran aground on the new channel of the Suez Canal on the 23rd. On the evening of the 25th local time, local authorities continued to rescue, but the 400-meter-long cargo ship touched the shore and was unable to move. The work of resuming passage was progressing arduously. Over 150 ships in and near the canal were forced to wait.
According to Kyodo News, citing news from the Egyptian Suez Canal Authority, the Dutch professional rescue team joined the operations of the local authorities and tried to move the hull by using tugboats to tow, clear the sand near the bow of the ship, and dig out the river bottom sediment. . Relevant officials revealed on the 25th that Japanese professional teams will also join the rescue work.
A former official of the Suez Canal Authority stated that in order to make the heavy hull float, it "should be unloaded" and predicted that the operation would be completed within two or three days. On the other hand, the Dutch company that has dispatched professional rescue teams released news that the cargo ship rescue work "may take several days to several weeks."
The report pointed out that rescue operations were implemented intensively during high tide periods. In order to reduce the weight of the container ship, a plan to discharge the "ballast water" loaded to stabilize the hull is also being explored.
It is estimated that it may take days or even weeks for the Suez Canal to resume its flow. If the freighter cannot escape within a few days, it may have a potential impact on global trade, supply chain, shipping, etc.