The Ever Given made headlines worldwide when it blocked the Suez Canal for six days bringing huge swathes of global trade to a shuddering halt. The huge container ship is thought to have prevented over 300 ships from making their scheduled journeys through the canal. After such an embarrassing incident has the ship been allowed to return to sea?
The Ever Given grounded itself on March 23 after being caught in high winds of up to 46 miles per hour and a sandstorm.
When the ship wedged itself across the canal no ships could pass around it on either side.
It was reportedly carrying nearly $1 billion (approximately £735,420,000) worth of goods in around 18,000 total containers when it was grounded.
The vessel was in charge of transporting heavily demanded goods such as Nike shoes, Lenovo laptops, IKEA furniture, sex toys and bikes.
READ MORE: Suez Canal: The staggering sum of money the world lost over Ever Given
The obstruction hugely disrupted global trade as 12 percent of the world’s trade is thought to pass through the canal.
It wasn’t refloated until six days later, finally being freed on March 29 by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA).
The ship was then impounded for three months near the city of Ismailia while a compensation deal was brokered between Egypt (which runs the canal) and the ship’s owners.
The final settlement wasn’t revealed but the SCA had lowered its initial demand of $1billion (approximately £735,399,600) to $550 million (approximately £404,469,780) for the cost of the salvage operation, damage to the canal’s banks and other losses.
In July after an agreement was reached the ship’s owner said: “Our company will continue to be a regular and loyal customer of the Suez canal.”
Far from being forced into retirement, the four-year-old ship is still being used today.
The Ever Given had a faultless career before the incident, so its owners are undoubtedly hoping that the blockage in March will be a one-off event.
Before its disastrous trip in March, the Ever Given had travelled through the Suez Canal 22 times since its manufacture in 2018.
Where is the Ever Given now?
According to Vessel Finder the Ever Given is currently in the East Mediterranean.
The vessel is en route to Port Said in Egypt and is expected to arrive there on January 20.
Dredgers were sued to suck up sand and silt from underneath the bows of the ship.
Maritime expert, Sal Mercogliano, told the BBC: “Large machines stick down into the water and basically pull dirt up from the bottom, which you can then deposit onshore.”
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the company that manages the vessel, said an additional specialist “suction dredger” had been brought in.
This was able to shift 2,000 cubic metres (440,000 gallons) of sand and silt every hour.
Alternatively, the rescue team could have removed some of the ship’s cargo to lighten the load in a bid to refloat the ship, but fortunately, the ship was freed without the need to do this.