Ship Stuck in Suez Canal is Finally Free

The Suez Canal is now reopened after a huge container ship blocked the well-traveled waterway for nearly a week, according to CBS News. The 430-yard long ship, known as the Ever Given, was only freed due to the work of diggers who helped remove the canal’s bank as well as sediments from the bottom of the canal.

“This was the result of successful push and tow maneuvers which led to the restoration of 80 percent of the vessel’s direction,” Suez Canal Authority Chairman and Director Admiral Osama Rabie said.

Nearly a dozen tugboats were also used in an attempt to try to move the ship, which is approximately the size of a skyscraper, according to Reuters. Workers vacuumed up to 27,000 cubic meters of mud as well as sand last night in order to free it, officials say.

The blockage caused major problems after the Ever Given got stuck in a diagonal direction across the southern part of the canal last Tuesday due to what officials say was likely heavy wind gusts.

It jammed a major shipping route, the shortest, between Asia and Europe. Officials estimate it blocked $9 billion of trade worldwide daily. Given that the worldwide supply chains had already been struggling due to the pandemic, the Ever Given exacerbated the problem.

Around 367 shipping boats, carrying goods ranging from cattle to crude oil, were held up in the canal. Dozens opted to take the longer route around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, which can add up to two weeks of extra travel time.