Multiple rescue boats are working to release the Ever Given following 40-knot winds bashing the ship off course, blocking the entire route north and southbound. Fast winds and a sandstorm caused the ship to pivot across the waterway and partially embed itself in the bank.
Ever Given is longer than the Empire State Building, and ways some 200,000 tonnes.
The Suez Canal Authority said eight tug boats were working to move the ship, but even after 48 hours of attempting to free the boat, it is still blocking the route.
The blockage has caused a huge backlog, and traffic through the canal has been suspended, with hundreds of ships waiting to get through.
Japanese shipowner Shoei Kisen apologised for the blockage, saying work on freeing the ship “has been extremely difficult” and it was not clear when the vessel would be moved.
Peter Berdowski, CEO of Dutch company Boskalis, which is trying to free the ship, said it was too early to say how long to operation may take.
He told Dutch programme Nieuwsuur: “We can’t exclude it might take weeks, depending on the situation.”
He added: “It is like an enormous beached whale. It’s an enormous weight on the sand.
“We might have to work with a combination of reducing the weight by removing containers, oil and water from the ship, tug boats and dredging of sand.”
What is the Suez Canal? Where is the Suez Canal?
The Suez Canal is a man-made waterway and is one of the world’s most heavily used shipping lanes.
It connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean, via the Red Sea, and is 120 miles long.
Construction began in April 1859, and it was built so ships did not have to circumnavigate Africa to get goods to Europe, and vice versa.
Why is the Suez Canal important?
Today, the Suez Canal carries more than 300 million tonnes of goods per year.
Roughly 30 percent of the world’s shipping container volume moves through the 193 km Suez Canal every day.
Blockages on the route could have serious implications for international trade.
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