An ultra large container vessel has become stuck in the Suez Canal in Egypt on its way to Rotterdam. The 20,000 TEU Ever Given is now blocking one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. This has created a traffic jam of more than 100 vessels wanting to use the important waterway between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.
A photograph shows that the 400-metre-long ship is lying perpendicularly in the channel. According to the Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen Line, it went wrong because of the strong wind. As a result, the container ship, which is longer than the Eiffel Tower, veered off course and ran aground on Tuesday 23 March. Tugboats are reportedly being deployed to refloat the ship, but it is unclear how long that will take.
Representatives of the shipping route have told local media that the canal will be closed for at least two days.
Suez Canal incidents
Ships often run into trouble in the 193-kilometre Suez Canal. In 2017, the cargo ship OOCL Japan managed to refloat after several hours. One of the most serious incidents took place in 2004 when the oil tanker Tropic Brilliance blocked the canal for several days. The ship could only continue its journey after 25,000 tonnes of oil had been removed from the ship.
Picture (top) by Instagram/Julianne Cona.