Cairo (AP) – Divers searched the bottom of a massive container vessel that blocked the Suez Canal, causing minor damage to the bow but not enough to get it out of service, officials said Wednesday.
The dives were part of an ongoing investigation into why the crucial artery of global shipping was given an Ever on the bank of a canal that was closed for six days before it was dislodged on Monday. The ship is now anchored in the Great Bitter Lake, a vast stretch of water halfway between the north and south ends of the canal.
The blockade stalled billions of dollars a day in maritime trade.
Two senior canal officials said the ship’s bulbs suffered minor to moderate damage from the bow. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
One of the officers, Canal Pilot, said experts were studying the extent of the damage, but he said it was likely to hamper research. He said the ship’s next move was based on “several legal and procedural” measures that Canal would discuss with the operator of Evergreen.
When the blame is handed over, the case will likely last for years to recover the cost of repairing the ship, fixing the canal and reimbursing anyone who has seen a disruption in their cargo ship. The ship is owned by a Japanese company, operated by a Taiwanese ship, flagged in Panama and is now stranded in Egypt, so things can get complicated quickly.
With the canal reopening to traffic on Monday afternoon, fleets of ships are moving through the waterway connecting the underground and the Red Sea.
During the six days of the blockade, maritime traffic was jammed on both sides of the canal. More than 160 vehicles passed through the canal by noon when it reopened on Wednesday.
The head of the Canal Authority, Lieutenant General Osama Rabe, said on Wednesday that they would work round the clock to clear the backlog on both sides of the canal.
The victory of Our Gift was a moment for the Ever Given team members. Some broke down in tears, many hugged each other as the ship’s bow pierced from the east side of the canal.
“We’ve seen it on television, and it’s completely different than when you see it in front of you,” Mustafa Mohammed said of the men.
Unprecedented canal shutdowns have already increased the stress on the shipping industry under the pressure of the epidemic.
Diego Pant Pantoja-Navaj, an expert in supply chain logistics and vice president of Oracle’s WMS Cloud Development, said the six-day shutdown would “process delays in delivery and backlog of shipments. .
Pantoja-Nawazaj said the supply chain network has lost more than 14 hours of time, which will be used to deliver goods and process the backlog of shipments.
Mohamed Vegdi, a video journalist for the Associated Press in Ismailia, Egypt, contributed to the report.