Ever Given, an enormous cargo ship, continues to be caught within the Suez Canal

The stranded container ship Ever Given, one of the largest container ships in the world, was seen aground in Egypt’s Suez Canal on March 25, 2021.

Suez Canal Authority | Reuters

The massive container ship that ran aground in the Suez Canal and stopped traffic on one of the busiest waterways in the world is still stuck when tugs continued to attempt to remove the ship on Thursday. A team of experts from Smit Salvage was brought in to assist with the operation.

The ship, called Ever Given, was jammed horizontally in the waterway after strong winds. Several tugs were sent to the scene to aid in the resuscitation process, which could take days or even longer.

“We cannot rule out that it may take weeks, depending on the situation,” said Peter Berdowski, CEO of the Dutch company Boskalis. Berdowski, whose company is helping with the recovery effort, spoke on Dutch television, according to Reuters.

At 8:30 a.m. ET Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the ship’s technical director, said an earlier attempt to levitate the ship had failed and another attempt to levitate the ship would be made later Thursday.

“The dredging to help the ship float back up is continuing. In addition to the dredgers already on site, a specialized suction dredger has arrived on site,” said the company.

The enormous carrier is over 1,300 feet long and approximately 193 feet wide. It weighs more than 200,000 tons. One end of the ship was wedged into one side of the canal, the other stretching almost to the other bank.

The 120 mile long artificial waterway is a central point of world trade and connects a steady flow of goods from east to west.

“Dredgers are working to remove sand and mud around the ship in order to free them. Tugs are working in conjunction with the Ever Given winches to move the ship,” said Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement on Wednesday evening.

Bernhard Schulte said there were no reports of injuries among the 25 crew members and that no cargo was damaged. Initial investigations have ruled out a mechanical or motor failure as a reason for the grounding.

Everything from consumer goods to machine parts to oil flows through the waters.

Cropped satellite images captured on March 23, 2021 show the cargo container ship Ever Given blocking the Suez Canal in Egypt.

Planet Labs

According to the Suez Canal Authority, almost 19,000 ships passed the canal in 2020, an average of 51.5 per day. The ship was sailing from China to Rotterdam when it ran aground.

Satellite imagery showed a cluster of ships at either end of the waterway as the Ever Given stopped the flow of traffic.

The accident occurs because the global supply chain is already struggling to keep up with demand. Bottlenecks in the chip industry were greatest, forcing automakers to shut down.

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