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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ryan Fahey

Suez Canal ships on move again as stranded tug refloated after huge salvage operation

A ship that briefly ran aground this morning in Egypt's Suez Canal is on the move after it disrupted the vital trade waterway.

The Xin Hai Tong 23 ran aground at the southern mouth of the Suez Canal, the body that oversees the waterway said in a statement.

The ship was being towed to another area by three tug boats after an "emergency malfunction," it said, that caused it to stop sailing.

The Suez Canal Authority said that traffic flow had returned to normal in the canal, which connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Leth Agencies, which oversees traffic in the canal, had said that four other vessels were stopped in line behind it after it ran aground.

The ship is a bulk carrier, which typically carries cargo. The ship measures some 190 meters (625 feet) by 32 meters (105 feet).

Suez traffic amounts to billions per day in trade (AFP/Getty Images)

The Ever Given, a colossal container ship that crashed into a bank on a single-lane stretch of the canal in March 2021, blocking the waterway, was bigger.

A massive salvage effort by a flotilla of tugboats, helped by the tides, freed the skyscraper-sized vessel six days later, ending the crisis and allowing hundreds of waiting ships to pass through the canal.

The shop was en route to Rotterdam in the Netherlands, but its grounding sparked chaos for the already Covid-hammered shipping industry - with the incident thought to have held up around $400million per hour in trade.

Lloyd's estimates that the canal's westbound traffic is around $5.1billion per day. Eastbound traffic is around $4.5billion.

Tugboats helped to free the grounded ship (2008 file photo) (AFP/Getty Images)

It's such a popular route because it stops ships needing to travel around Africa's southern tip, an addition 3,315 nautical miles, the World Economic Forum estimates.

A similar incident happened in January when a container laden with 65,000 tonnes of Ukrainian corn had to be refloated.

Earlier this year, a Brit tourist described how he and others survived a terrifying capsizing on holiday while on board a 137ft yacht in an area close to the mouth of the Suez Canal known as Egypt's "Bermuda Triangle".

A group of 26 people from across the world were supposed to be enjoying their diving holiday on a trip to Egypt last month.

But instead of making brilliant memories they would never forget, their dream holiday turned into a “nightmare” when the ship they had been staying on dramatically capsized on Monday April 24.

Of the group, 16 were British tourists, and it was only thanks to quick-thinking from all and teamwork that everyone made it out alive.

But then, instead of being helped by the company responsible for the boat, they were left without their passports, and help, they claimed, as the company allegedly threatened and pressured them to make false statements to the authorities.

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