Cairo (AFP) – A cargo ship loaded with corn that ran aground early Monday in the Suez Canal has been refloated and traffic has resumed through the vital waterway, Egyptian authorities said.
Admiral Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority, said that the MV Glory, which flies the flag of the Marshall Islands, suffered a sudden technical malfunction while transiting through the canal, and the authority deployed four tugs to help refloat it.
He said the ship, owned by Greek shipping company Primera, was part of a northbound convoy bound for China before it broke down at the 38-kilometre mark of the canal, near the city of Kantara in Ismailia Governorate. .
After the ship was refloated, Rabih said, it was towed to a nearby marine park to fix the problem. The channel’s media office published pictures showing the boat towing the boat.
Rabih did not discuss the nature of the technical failure. Parts of Egypt, including the northern governorates, experienced a wave of bad weather on Sunday.
He said in a statement that traffic in the canal has resumed after the ship was refloated and 51 ships are expected to pass through the waterway in both directions.
“The traffic through the canal has not been interrupted as 26 northbound vessels are already in the waterway and (a) the southbound convoy will resume its journey directly upon transiting the MV GLORY with the help of SCA boats,” Rabih said.
Marwa Maher, a media official at the Canal Authority, told the Associated Press that the ship ran aground around 5 a.m. local time and was refloated five hours later.
The canal services company, Leth Agencies, said the Glory had run aground near Al Qantara and published a diagram indicating that the ship was facing the western bank of the canal, oriented south and not confined across the canal.
Satellite tracking data analyzed by the Associated Press showed that the Glory ran aground in one lane of the Suez Canal, south of Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea.
The Glory wasn’t the first ship to run aground in the important waterway. The Panama-flagged “Ever Given”, a huge container ship, It crashed into a bank along a one-lane stretch of the canal in March 2021, blocking the waterway for six days.
The Ever Given is liberated in a gigantic rescue by a fleet of tugboats. The ban has caused massive traffic jams that have halted $9 billion a day in global trade and strained supply chains already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ever Given disaster prompted the Egyptian authorities to begin widening and deepening the southern part of the waterway where the ship struck land.
In August, the Singapore-flagged oil tanker Affinity V ran aground in one run of the canal, blocking the waterway for five hours before freeing it.
The JCC listed The Glory as carrying more than 65,000 metric tons of corn from Ukraine destined for China.
The JCC inspected the Glory off Istanbul on January 3. The center includes staff from Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Nations.
The Suez Canal, opened in 1869, provides an important link for oil, natural gas, and cargo. It also remains one of the largest sources of foreign currency in Egypt. In 2015, the government of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi completed a major expansion of the canal, allowing it to accommodate the largest ships in the world.
Built in 2005, Glory measures 225 meters (738 ft) long and 32 meters (105 ft) wide.
Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed.
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