Workers free stricken container ship which was blocking Suez Canal

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Workers Free Stricken Container Ship Which Was Blocking Suez Canal
Ever Given, a Panama-flagged cargo ship in the Suez Canal (Mohamed Elshahed/AP), © AP/Press Association Images
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By Jon Gambrell and Samy Magdy, Associated Press

Workers have successfully set free a colossal container ship that for nearly a week has been stuck sideways across the Suez Canal, one of the world’s most crucial arteries for trade.

Leth Agencies said that the vessel had been refloated on Monday.

Helped by the peak of high tide, a flotilla of tugboats managed to wrench the bow of the skyscraper-sized Ever Given from the sandy back of the crucial waterway, where it had been firmly lodged since last Tuesday.

Tugboats were pulling the vessel toward the Great Bitter Lake, in the middle of the waterway, where it will undergo inspections.


With canal transits stopped, Egypt has already has lost over 95 million US dollars in revenue, according to the data firm Refinitiv.

Clearing the backlog of ships waiting to pass through the canal would take over 10 days, Refinitiv added.

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Earlier a partial freeing of the vessel was greeted by the sound of tugboats in the canal sounding their horns in celebration.


Ever Given was wedged across the Suez Canal for nearly a week (Mohamed Elshahed/AP)

Even as salvage work was still ongoing, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi portrayed the development as a victory in his first comments on the stranded vessel.

“Egyptians have succeeded in ending the crisis,” he wrote on Facebook.

Satellite data from MarineTraffic.com confirmed that the ship was moving away from the shoreline toward the centre of the artery.

At least 367 vessels, carrying everything from crude oil to cattle, have piled up on either end of the canal, waiting to pass.

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