Tugboats successfully refloated a large vessel stranded in the Suez Canal, Leth Agencies informed on Thursday, permitting flows through one of the world’s most crucial waterways to return to normal.
The shipping agent, Leth, identified the vessel as Xin Hai Tong 23, a bulk carrier.
The SCA refloated the 190-meter ship successfully at 0740hrs. The northbound convoy was expected to enter at 0930hrs, a tweet mentioned.
The canal authorities said they were informed of a sudden engine malfunction and promptly deployed tugboats to refloat the vessel. They mentioned that the entire procedure was briefly delayed by the failure of the vessel’s winch.
Shipping activity in both directions would return to normal as soon as the towing is completed, as a precautionary step, the canal authorities highlighted.
Leth had earlier tweeted that the vessel had disrupted at least two convoys of ships.
Refinitiv Eikon shipping data reflected that the ship, sailing under the flag of Hong Kong, was “not under command” close to the canal’s southern end. Initially, it was positioned at an angle with the stern abutting the Suez Canal’s eastern side but later seemed to have been moved toward the centre and pointed southward. Trackers also showed that three Egyptian tugboats were surrounding it.
The vessel had originated from Saudi Arabia’s Dhuba port. It is managed by the firm named Tosco Keymax International Ship Management and owned by a firm called Xiang B12 HK International Ship Lease.
About 12% of worldwide trade moves via the canal. During strong winds in 2021, a large container vessel, the Ever Given, became stuck across it, pausing traffic for six days in both directions and disrupting worldwide trade.
Last year, tugboats helped refloat an oil tanker that was stranded in the Suez Canal owing to technical faults with its rudder, while the breakdown of a container vessel in the canal resulted in minor delays in March 2023.
References: Reuters, Deccan Herald
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