By Tony Winterburn • 24 March 2021 • 6:40
Russian maritime trade halves
Stranded 200,000-tonne vessel Blocks Worlds Busiest Shipping Route.
A container ship heading to Rotterdam has ran aground in the Suez Canal, blocking other vessels from travelling through one of the world’s busiest waterways, according to shipping company GAC.
The 200,000-tonne vessel en route from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean ran aground at about 7:40 am (05:40 GMT) on Tuesday after the ship suffered a blackout, GAC said on its website. It added that 15 other ships in the northbound convoy behind the vessel were detained at anchorages waiting for the Canal to be cleared. A southbound convoy was also blocked, GAC said.
As of 11.30 pm, data from vessel tracking site Marine Traffic showed the ship was still in the same position, with at least five tug boats attempting to pull it free.
The ‘megaship’, operated by Evergreen Marine, measures 400m long and 59m wide and its predicament has caused a massive build-up of shipping traffic. The caption said: “Ship in front of us ran aground while going through the canal and is now stuck sideways looks like we might be here for a little bit…” The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, providing the shortest sea link between Asia and Europe. It is around 193km (120 miles) long and runs through three natural lakes.
Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corp, which is leasing the vessel under a time charter, said the shipowner had informed it that the vessel “was suspected of being hit by a sudden strong wind, causing the hull to deviate from the waterway and accidentally hit the bottom and run aground.
“The company has urged the shipowner to report the cause of the accident and to work out a plan with related units such as the canal administration to assist the ship in getting out of trouble as soon as possible,” Evergreen said in a statement.
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