The Suez Canal Authority admits that it does not know when it will be able to remove the stuck ship. A ship will try to reduce the weight of the stranded ship by removing part of the 18,000 containers it carries.
The head of the Suez Canal Authority , Admiral Osama Rabie , said today in his first appearance before the press that he cannot say when this important seaway will be unblocked , blocked since last 23rd by the container ship Ever Given. ” It is difficult to say a time to solve the problem,” Rabie said in a massive press conference at the headquarters of the Authority, in the city of Ismailiya , on the banks of the Suez Canal.
However, he was optimistic that the gigantic ship can finally move with the 14 tugs that have been trying to drag it since Friday, although that will depend on the favorable tide . “I cannot say when we are going to finish, maybe tonight, God willing, maybe tomorrow,” said the admiral before insistent questions from journalists.
He explained that, after removing the sand from the shore on which the Ever Given is stranded and digging to increase the depth of the channel in this area, the main option at the moment is to drag the container ship.
Bigger ships have passed
The next option, in the event that it is not possible to move it with all its cargo, is to unload part of the containers to lighten the weight of the Ever Given, which has 18,300 containers of goods on board , according to the data provided by Rabie.
The admiral highlighted the large size of the ship, 400 meters in length, although he pointed out that it is not the first time that this type of vessel has crossed the channel and shortly before the Ever Given a larger one, of 240,000 tons, had sailed in its waters. capacity.
Rabie did not want to point to any specific cause behind the incident, which occurred when the container ship was traversed on the southern stretch of the canal, at kilometer 151, during a wind and sand storm that reduced visibility.
“The sandstorm was not in our power,” said Rabie, adding that there may be other reasons such as “a technical or human failure but it cannot be determined before the relevant investigations”.
Nor did he want to advance anything about the possible fines or compensation for what happened, but affirmed that the Suez Canal “will not lose customers because the incident was unintentional and has nothing to do with the channel itself.”