New York Daily News: MANHATTAN, NY – The massive cargo ship that has been stuck in the Suez Canal for nearly a week was “successfully refloated” Monday morning, Egyptian officials said, raising hopes that traffic could soon resume in the world’s busiest trade route.
The Ever Given’s huge bow, which had been lodged in the canal’s eastern bank since Tuesday, was partially pulled from the shoreline and the vessel was now moving in the right direction, the Suez Canal Authority said in a statement.
“This was the result of successful push and tow maneuvers which led to the restoration of 80% of the vessel’s direction,” authorities said, without offering details about when the boat would be set free.
The ship’s stern was now more than 30 feet from the western shoreline, compared with just 13 feet the night before, according to the statement. The full moon and high tides overnight appear to have helped the massive crew working to set the Ever Given free following six days of dredging and excavation.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi celebrated the latest development on Twitter.
“Today, Egyptians have succeeded in ending the crisis of the ship stuck in the Suez Canal despite the tremendous technical complexity that surrounded this process,” he wrote.
Despite the major achievement in the operation, the salvage firm hired to extract the Japanese-owned ship urged caution.
“Don’t cheer too soon,” Boskalis CEO Peter Berdowski told Dutch NPO Radio 1, according to The Associated Press.
The vessel, which is as long as the Empire State Building, was heading from China to the Netherlands when it got caught in high winds and a sandstorm. The crisis has held up more than 300 boats that are said to be carrying millions of dollars in goods, causing an unprecedented economic fallout that continues to grow.
The canal is the easiest route from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and carries about 10% of the world’s trade.