A large container ship that ran aground in the southern end of the Suez Canal last week has been partially dislodged.
The stern of Panama-registered ship Ever Given, which has been wedged across the narrow single traffic lane of Suez Canal since last Tuesday, was freed from the shoreline in the early hours of Monday.
The Suez Canal Authority confirmed that the vessel was re-floated 80 percent in response to tugs pulling and pushing it.
“The vessel is currently connected to tug boats from bow and stern, and is 102 meters away from the Canal bank, compared to just 4 meters previously,” SCA Chairman Osama Mounir Rabie was quoted as saying.
The operation to get the vessel back into the middle of the Canal will continue when high tide rises at its maximum of 2 meter, he added.
Navigation will be restored once vessel is fully refloated and towed to Great Bitter Lakes for technical inspection.
Bitter Lakes is a waiting area in a wider section of the canal.
The partial success of a week-long effort by 15 tugs to clear the vessel from the sandy clay bed raised hopes that traffic along the canal could resume within hours.
Oil prices started falling following the good news.
The traffic jam caused by the accident in one of the world’s most important and busy waterways left 367 vessels, including large container ships, tankers carrying oil and gas, and bulk vessels carrying grain, stranded at either end of the Suez canal.
It is estimated that goods worth nearly $10 billion are being held up each day in the strategic trade route, which provides the shortest link between Asia and Europe.
Ever Given, sailing to the Dutch port of Rotterdam, ran aground after being affected by a stand storm and strong winds before entering the Mediterranean in the morning last Tuesday.
The 224,000-ton ship with a capacity to carry 20000 containers is fully-loaded.
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