Plan for new efforts to free a huge ship stranded in the Suez Canal

Suez, Egypt (AP) – A huge container ship got stuck in Egypt’s Suez Canal on Saturday for the fifth day in a row as authorities prepare to free the ship and reopen the crucial East-West waterway for new global shipping.

Evergave the Panama-flagged cargo ship between Asia and Europe on Tuesday in a narrow canal between Africa and the Sinai Peninsula.

Near the city of Suez, about six kilometers (7.7 miles) north of the southern entrance, a huge ship got stuck in a single-lane canal.

Peter Berdowski, CEO of Bosklis, which was hired for Ever Given Ka Extva, said the company hopes to pull the container ship free within days using a combination of heavy tugboats, dredging and high tides.

He told the Dutch Current Affairs show Niuvasur on Friday night that the front of the ship was stuck in sandy soil, but the rear was “not completely pushed into the mud and that is positive because you can use the rear end to pull it back. ”

Berdowski said two large tugboats were heading toward the canal and are expected to arrive over the weekend. He said the company’s goal is to use tug, dredging and tidal power, which he said is expected to be up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) on Saturday.

“We’ll be mixing (tug) boats there, more land will be cleared and high tides are coming in. We hope that will be enough to free the ship somewhere early next week.”

If that doesn’t work, the company will dump hundreds of containers in front of the ship to lighten it, effectively making it easier to tow the ship for free, Berdowski said.

He said a crane was already coming that could lift the container from the ship.

An official with the Suez Canal Authority said the authority plans to make at least two attempts to free the ship on Saturday as tides go down. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

Egyptian authorities have banned media access to the site. The Canal Authority said its head, Lieutenant General Osama Rabe, would hold a press conference in the city of Suez, a few kilometers (miles) from the ship’s site, on Saturday.

Yukito Higaki, president of Shoi Kisen, a company that owns a large container ship, told a news conference in Imabari, Japan, on Friday night that 10 tugboats had been deployed and workers were dredging on the shore and sea floor near the ship’s bow. It floats again.

Shoi Kisen said on Saturday that the company was considering removing the container to lighten the vessel if vehicle efforts failed, but it would be a difficult operation.

The White House said it had offered to help Egypt reopen the canal. “We have the equipment and capacity that most countries do not have and we are looking at what we can do and what we can do to help,” President Biden told reporters Friday.

Preliminary investigations showed that the storm was caused by strong winds and ruled out mechanical or engine failure, the company and Canal Authority said. A global shipping and logistics company called GAC had earlier said the ship had experienced a power blackout, but it had not expanded.

According to canal service provider Lathe agencies, maritime traffic jams in the canal system at Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea, Port Suez on the Red Sea and the Great Bitter Lake in Egypt have increased to about 280 vessels.

Some ships began to change course and dozens of ships were still heading for the waterway, according to data firm Refinitive.

Prolonged closure of crucial waterways will delay the global shipment chain. About 19,000 ships passed through the canal last year, according to official figures. About 10% of the world’s trade flows through canals, which is especially crucial for oil transportation. The dam could affect shipments of oil and gas from the Middle East to Europe.

It is not clear how long this barrier will last. Even after reopening the canal connecting factories in Asia with European customers, waiting containers could arrive at busy ports, causing them to face additional delays before off-flooding.

Apparently expecting a long delay, the owners of the stranded ship turned a sister ship, the Evergret, on a route around Africa instead, according to satellite data.

Others are also being diverted. Liquefied natural gas carrier Pan America diverted to the Mid-Atlantic, now coming to the south of South Africa, according to satellite data from


Contributed by Mike Korder, Associated Press Writer in The Hague, Netherlands.