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Movement during the recovery of the Suez Canal | Current Africa | D.W.

The discovery of the container ship “Ever Given” blocking the Suez Canal is making little progress. Shipping and logistics company GAC has announced that more than ten towers and three trenches are in use to reopen one of the world’s most important waterways for trade. The cargo ship is still complex, but has “slight movement”.

The container vessel, which is 400 meters long and 59 meters wide, went into a sandstorm on Tuesday and ran off the coast. The 224,000 tonne Colossus is one of the largest container vessels in the world. He is now blocking the passage. As a result, 213 ships with billions of dollars worth of cargo are stranded. German companies also fear supply disruptions.

The scene of the accident from the bird’s eye view

Admiral Osama Rabbi, chairman of the Egyptian Canal Authority, said a number of factors played a role in the excavation operations, especially wind direction and ebb and flow. This is a “complex technical process”.

A flood should also help

Dutch backup company Schmidt Savage hopes to be back on “Ever Given” road earlier this week. “At our shipyard, the sediment has already been removed and the floodwaters, which began Sunday evening, will be able to get the ship back for free early next week,” said Boscalis, the boss of Smith Savage’s parent company. Peter Bertowski, on Dutch television. It may take some more time if the containers need to be removed to reduce the weight of the massive ship. A crane has already been installed to remove hundreds of containers from the front deck. In “Ever Given” it was completely stuck in the sand, but not harsh. This can be used as a lever to get the ship for free.

Bertovsky was a little more cautious than Yukito Hikaki, the boss of Japanese ship owner Shoi Kisan. He had set a goal of “freeing” the giant container by Saturday evening, Japanese time. No water ran into the “Ever Given” and there was no problem with the control or drive. “Once the ship moves back, it should be operational,” Hikaki Asahi told the Shimpan newspaper.

Another attempt to free the ship had previously failed. The Suez Canal Authority announced on Friday that a trench had dug 17,000 cubic meters of sand around “Evergreen”. Bernhard Schultz Ship Management (PSM), the Singaporean responsible for the ship’s technical management, said two more towers were expected at the crash site on Sunday.

Providing assistance from the United States

The United States offered its assistance. “We have equipment and capabilities that most countries do not have,” President Joe Biden said. The Pentagon says a group of US naval experts could leave Bahrain on Saturday if Egypt makes a formal request.

The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, providing the shortest shipping lanes between Asia and Europe. About 18,000 ships pass through the waterway each year. In 2019, about 13 percent of total world trade was carried through the canal.

Hamburg-based shipping company Habuk-Lloyd has now begun shipping the first ships around the Cape of Good Hope. The voyages were extended to a week, the shipping company explained. There are five Habakk-Lloyd ships on the canal. At the same time, water off the coast of West Africa, especially in the Gulf of Guinea, is particularly vulnerable to pirate attacks.

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kle / uh (dpa, rtr, afp)