Shipping traffic through Egypt’s Suez Canal resumed on Monday after a giant container ship which had been blocking the busy waterway for almost a week was refloated, the canal authority said.
The 400-metre (430-yard) long Ever Given became jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in high winds early last Tuesday, halting traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
Live footage on a local television station showed the ship surrounded by tug boats moving slowly in the centre of the canal. The station, ExtraNews, said the ship was moving at a speed of 1.5 knots.
“Admiral Osama Rabie, the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), announces the resumption of maritime traffic in the Suez Canal after the Authority successfully rescues and floats the giant Panamanian container ship EVER GIVEN,” a statement from the SCA said.
“She’s free,” an official involved in the salvage operation said.
After dredging and excavation work over the weekend, rescue workers from the SCA and a team from Dutch firm Smit Salvage had succeeded in partially refloating the ship earlier on Monday using tug boats, two marine and shipping sources said.
Evergreen Line, which is leasing the Ever Given, confirmed the ship had been successfully refloated and said it would be repositioned and inspected for seaworthiness.