On September 9th, a cargo vessel briefly got stuck in the Suez Canal, blocking traffic in a reminder of the Evergreen fiasco less than six months ago.
A bulk carrier vessel became wedged in Egypt’s Suez Canal, briefly blocking traffic in one lane of crucial global waterway.
The Suez Canal Authority said in a statement that the Panama-flagged Coral Crystal ran aground in a double-lane stretch of the canal, forcing the officials to redirect other vessels in the convoy to the other lane.
The canal transits two convoys everyday; One north-bound to the Mediterranean and the other south-bound to the Red Sea.
The statement said that tugboats managed to float the south-bound vessel, which carries cargo weighing 43,000 tons. The Coral Crystal then resumed its voyage, the canal said.
Admiral Ossama Rabei, head of the Suez Canal, described the incident as a “very brief grounding,” which was resolved in a “professional manner.”
Geoge Safwat, the canal spokesman, said 61 vessels, carrying a total of 3.2 million tons of cargo, transited in the Suez Canal on September 9th.
“Traffic (at the canal) was not negatively impacted in anyway,” since it was redirected to the other lane of waterway, he said.
Officials have not said what caused the vessel to run aground.
The ship was built in 2012 with a length of nearly 738 feet and a width of over 104 feet. It was en route to Port Sudan on the Red Sea, according to Traffic Marine, a vessel tracking firm.
The incident came less than six months after the massive Panama-flagged Ever Given ran aground in the single-lane stretch of the canal.
The vessel blocked the canal for six days before being released in a massive salvage effort by a flotilla of tugboats.
The blockage earlier this year disrupted global shipment. About 10% of world trade flows through the canal, a pivotal source of foreign currency to Egypt.
Approximately 19,000 vessels passed through the canal last year, according to official figures.
Authorities continue to investigate how the Ever Given, which is about the length of the Empire State Building, became wedged in the canal.
Initial reports blamed high winds and a sandstorm that affected visibility.
But Egyptian officials have since said human error may have contributed to the ship running aground.
Luckily, this time the blocking was brief and not at such a critical section of the waterway.
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