April 18, 2021

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Engineers start to refloat ship stuck in Egypt’s Suez Canal

2 min read

The skyscraper-sized ship has been stuck there for almost a week.

The so-called Ever Given, a 224,000-ton, 1,300-foot-long container ship registered in Panama, was freed from the shoreline as its course was corrected by 80%. The engineers, who have been trying for days to pull the fully laden vessel with tugboats, are expected to resume their efforts later Monday morning as the water level rises to its maximum, “allowing the ship’s course to be completely straightened,” according to a statement from Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority.

Traffic has since come to a complete halt as the ship remains stuck sideways across the Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest trade routes that provides the shortest maritime link for goods traveling from Asia to Europe by connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.

Shoei Kisen Kaisha, the Japanese company that owns the Ever Given, said in a statement last Thursday that it was working with local authorities in the North African country to resolve the situation, which was proving “extremely difficult.”

“We sincerely apologize for causing a great deal of worry to ships in the Suez Canal and those planning to go through the canal,” the company added.

As the blockage nears the one-week mark, there are growing concerns over how it could impact the global economy and supply chains. About 12% of the world’s trade volume passes through the Suez Canal, including approximately 1.9 billion barrels of oil per day.

ABC News’ Catherine Thorbecke contributed to this report.

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