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May 8 2021
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The Ever Given Cargo ship 'partially refloated' but still stuck in Suez Canal

   
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by The Associated Press

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Engineers attempted for several days to pull the full vessel with tug boats 29 vessels waiting to enter the canal
 
SUEZ, Egypt — Engineers are attempting to refloat the huge cargo ship stuck on the banks of the Suez Canal last week.

But at this moment the ship remains stuck across the Suez Canal.The Ever Given is a 224,000-ton, 1,300-foot-long container ship registered in Panama. The engineers attempted for several days to pull the full vessel with tug boats. They are scheduled to resume their efforts later today as the water level rises to its maximum. They believe that may allow the ship's course to be straightened.

The ship has has now been turned 80 percent in the correct direction which raised hopes the vital trade route could soon be clear. But that while the huge ship "has turned", it was still not fully free.

The partial freeing of the cargo ship came after first efforts were to push and pull the vessel with 10 tugboats when the full moon brought spring tide. That might raise the canal's water level and give hopes for a breakthrough. However, satellite data from MarineTraffic.com showed the ship is in the same position, surrounded by a number of huge tug boats with its large bow stuck in the canal's eastern bank.

A top pilot confirmed that the ship had been partially refloated and that workers were still struggling to dislodge the bow.

Lt. Gen. Osama Rabei, the head of the Suez Canal Authority, said workers continued "pulling maneuvers" to refloat the vessel early Monday.

Overnight, several dredgers had toiled to vacuum up 27,000 cubic meters of sand and mud around the ship. Another powerful tugboat, Carlo Magno, was racing to the scene to join the efforts.

Although the vessel is vulnerable to damage in its current position, Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., the company that owns the Ever Given, dismissed concerns on Monday, saying that the ship's engine was functional and it could pursue its trip normally when freed.

Maersk and partners have three vessels stuck in the canal and 29 vessels waiting to enter the canal, with more expected to reach the blockage today. They have changed the direction of 15 vessels around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. These decisions were made close to the point of no return. They will continue via the southouthen part of Africa amd to reduce the number of vessels in the lineup. It could take 5 or 6 days or more for the complete line of ships to pass, depending on the safety and other operational challenges.

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