Ever Given, the massive container ship blocking Egypt’s Suez Canal for nearly a week, has been partially refloated.
This was disclosed by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), on Monday, raising hopes the busy waterway will soon be reopened.
The move comes a week after the container ship ran aground in high winds, blocking one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
In a statement, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chief Osama Rabie said, “The position of the ship has been reorientated 80 percent in the right direction. The stern… moved to 102 metres (335 feet) from the shore” compared to its position four metres from the shore previously.
It added that the process “will resume when water flow increases again from 11:30 am (0930 GMT)… in order to completely refloat the vessel, so as to reposition it in the middle of the waterway.”
Egypt’s Leth Agencies said the partial freeing of the vessel came after intensive efforts to push and pull the vessel with 10 tugboats when the full moon brought spring tide.
The 400m (1,312 foot) long Ever Given became jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in high winds early last Tuesday, halting shipping traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
The ship’s status has been changed to under way on the website of Ship-tracking service VesselFinder.
According to a spokesperson for the vessel’s owner, there has been damage sustained by the ship on its bow when it got stuck “but no new damage has been reported”.
On Sunday, the Suez Canal salvage teams intensified excavation and dredging and were hoping a high tide would help them dislodge it.
Extra tug boats to assist with efforts to refloat the ship were sent on Sunday, with experts pinning hopes on a high tide to help dislodge the ship.