Evergreen container ship blocks Suez Canal traffic

Blockage of the Suez Canal in both directions leaves few options for maritime traffic

In 2015, the Suez Canal underweight an $8.5 billion expansion to accommodate the ships and to set-up a two-way traffic headed both north and south - but its owners never envisioned one of those mega-ships blocking the whole route, experts said.

Historic sections of the canal have been reopened in a bid to ease the bottleneck of backed up marine traffic.

The incident has already created long tailbacks on the waterway, stopping dozens of other vessels from passing.

The MV Ever Given, a Panama-flagged container ship that carries trade between Asia and Europe, became grounded Tuesday in the narrow, man-made waterway dividing continental Africa from the Sinai Peninsula.

The Sumed pipeline in Egypt, with capacity for south-to-north flows of up to 2.8 million barrels a day, links the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, as does the smaller, bi-directional Ashkelon-Eilat route across Israel. The Ever Given was built in 2018 and stands 400m long and 59m wide.

Evergreen Marine said the ship was "suspected of being hit by a sudden strong wind, causing the hull to deviate. and accidentally hit the bottom and run aground".

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) could not be immediately reached for comment.

Tweets of a ship "stuck sideways" in the Suez Canal may prompt skepticism.

Suez Canal blocked with giant ship stuck in top trade artery
The Suez Canal is one of the world's most important trade routes, providing passage for 10 percent of all global maritime trade. Fifteen ships were said to have been behind the Ever Given at the time and were prevented from proceeding.

Dr Sal Mercogliano, a maritime historian based in the USA state of North Carolina, told the BBC that incidents such as this were rare, but could have "huge ramifications for global trade".

An image posted to Instagram by Julianne Cona from a nearby ship shows the Ever Given nearly completely sideways in the narrow canal.

"If they are unable to pull her free.in a high tide, they are going to have to start removing cargo".

It's unknown how the huge ship arrived in its predicament, but fallenhearts17 did note that the ship had cut off their vessel, which appears to the Maersk Denver, before entering the canal.

Several tug boats surrounded the ship, likely attempting to push it the right way, the data revealed. In February 2016, the 399-meter CSCL Indian Ocean, a 19,100 TEU containership, was stuck for five days after running aground on the Elbe River near the port of Hamburg. It is 193km (120 miles) long and incorporates three natural lakes.

"When a vessel runs aground Suez Canal officials are alone empowered to order and direct all operations required to get the vessel afloat", according to the Suez Canal Authority Rules of Navigation.

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