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Suez Canal ship 'now moving,' owner says

Suez Canal ship 'now moving,' owner says”

Suez Canal salvage teams were alternating between dredging and tugging on Sunday to dislodge a massive container ship blocking the busy waterway, while two sources said efforts had been complicated by rock under the ship's bow.

Aerial photos of the Suez Canal show just how bad the traffic jam of ships has become in recent days.

Lieutenant General Osama Rabei said an investigation is ongoing but did not rule out human or technical error.

Russia's ambassador to Egypt on Sunday offered the country "any possible assistance", as efforts continue to free a megaship that has been blocking the Suez Canal for almost a week.

On Saturday, the head of the Suez Canal Authority told journalists that strong winds were "not the only cause" for the Ever Given running aground, appearing to push back against conflicting assessments offered by others.

At least 369 vessels are waiting to transit the canal, Rabie said, including dozens of container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels.

The Ever Given container ship, which is the size of four football fields, has blocked the Suez Canal for the past six days, crippling global trade and causing losses worth millions of dollars.

Experts have warned that such a process could be complex and lengthy.

Egypt has thanked Greece for its offer, although it has not, so far, taken up on it. The tugboats will nudge the 400-meter-long (quarter-mile-long) Ever Given as dredgers continue to vacuum up sand from underneath the vessel and mud caked to its port side, said Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, which manages the Ever Given.

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Suction pumps have been deployed to expel water from the tank, SCA sources said, and one of the sources said divers had been working to fix the hole.

About 27,000 cubic feet of sand have been removed from around the vessel to a depth of almost 60 feet. The THSD Causeway, a dredger registered in Cyprus, was expected to arrive by Tuesday.

The two new huge tugboats "Abdel Hamid Youssef" and "Mustafa Mahmoud" will participate in the tugging maneuvers after the completion of their construction in the Port Said Maritime Shipyard with a tugging force of 70 tons each. "We believe that is what you are going to need in terms of horse power.to have a decent attempt, a decent chance of trying to float her", the official said.

The latest efforts come after officials said some progress had been made on Friday and Saturday.

"The rudder was not moving and it is now moving, the propeller is working now, there was no water underneath the bow, and now there is water under it, and yesterday there was a 4-metre deviation in the bow and the stern", Rabie told Egyptian state TV.

Egypt is eager to resume traffic along the Suez Canal, which brings in between $5 billion and $6 billion in revenue each year. The current stoppage is costing the canal $14-15 million daily.

Amid fears over fuel supplies, the Middle Eastern nation has been forced to ration "the available quantities of petroleum derivatives mainly diesel and benzene to ensure their vital availability for the longest possible time", SANA said.

The jam has crippled global trade and forced companies to reconsider re-routing vessels around Africa's Cape of Good Hope, a longer and more expensive way to travel between Asia and Europe.

"The current number (of) redirected Maersk and partner vessels is 14 and expected to rise as we assess the salvage efforts along with network capacity and fuel on our vessels now en route to Suez", the shipper said.



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