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Container ship blocking Suez Canal re-floats, finally

Photo Credit: ©Maxar Technologies

The stranded container ship blocking the Suez Canal for almost a week was re-floated on Monday and is currently being secured, news reports said, raising expectations the vital waterway will soon be reopened.

The ship was successfully re-floated at 4.30 a.m. local time and was being secured at the moment, Inchcape, a global provider of marine services, said on Twitter.

Ship-tracking service VesselFinder has changed the ship’s status to under way on its website.

The 400-metre long Ever Given became jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in high winds early on Tuesday, halting shipping traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

At least 369 vessels were waiting to transit the canal, including dozens of container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels, SCA Chairman Osama Rabie told Egypt’s Extra News on Sunday.

Egypt’s Leth Agencies tweeted the ship had been partially refloated, pending official confirmation from the Suez Canal Authority.

The Suez Canal Authority had earlier said in a statement that tugging operations to free the ship had resumed. The Suez Canal salvage teams intensified excavation and dredging on Sunday and were hoping a high tide would help them dislodge it.

Crude oil prices fell after news the ship had been re-floated, with Brent crude down by $1 per barrel to $63.67.

The ship’s technical manager Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) did not immediately respond to a request to comment. (With inputs from Agencies)