- The massive container ship stuck in the Suez Canal has been partially re-floated.
- It was helped by a huge dredging ship, the Mashhour, that can shift more than 70,000 cubic feet of sand an hour.
- But the ship’s front end is still stuck in the canal bank, and it’s not clear when other ships can pass.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The massive container ship that has spent days wedged in the Suez Canal has been partially re-floated by a huge dredging ship that can shift more than 70,000 cubic feet of sand an hour.
The Ever Given ship had been stuck across the canal since Tuesday, blocking one of the world’s busiest trade routes and leaving hundreds of ships that carry billions of dollars worth of trade in limbo and debating whether to take a significantly longer route around Africa.
Workers managed to partially free the ship on Monday, allowing it to be rotated.
But the front end of the ship is still stuck in the bank of the canal.
The success so far was achieved after tugboats and dredgers worked for days.
And key to that success is a huge dredger called Mashhour, which started working on Thursday to remove sand from around the ship.
This painting shows what it looks like:
And this photo shows it in action:
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the technical manager of the Ever Given, said the dredger can shift 2,000 cubic meters of material per hour — more than 70,000 cubic feet.
Osama Rabie, the Suez Canal Authority chief said the Mashour did most of the dredging work around the Ever Given. And he said that its work was what allowed tugboats to start their efforts to move the ship.
Other, smaller dredgers that could get closer to the Ever Given were also used. Combined they vacuumed up 27,000 cubic meters of sand and mud around the ship, The Associated Press reported.
But there is still no timeline for reopening the canal.
Peter Berdowski, the CEO of Boskalis, the salvage firm that was hired to free the ship, told Dutch NPO Radio 1: “Don’t cheer too soon.”
“The good news is that the stern is free but we saw that as the simplest part of the job,” he added, The Associated Press reported.
And an official who works at the company that owns the ship said that the bottom of the ship still touches the bottom of the canal.
Containers may be removed from the ships to reduce its weight.
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