Lieutenant General Osama Rabie, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, held a press conference this evening, Saturday, to comment on the developments of the flotation of the giant Panamanian container ship EVER GIVEN, which ran aground at the 151st kilogram numbering the canal, in the presence of a group of local and international media, at the beach club of the authority in the Suez Governorate.
At the beginning of the conference, Lieutenant General Rabei offered condolences to the Egyptian people for the victims of the Sohag train collision, calling on the Almighty to grant them the mercy of his mercy and to inspire their families and their families with patience and solace.
The president of the authority welcomed the media attendees, appreciating their role in clarifying the facts and conveying a realistic picture of the efforts made to float the Panamanian ship EVER GIVEN, stressing the authority’s keenness to communicate with all local and international media and present the developments and developments of the situation through the periodic data issued by the media center of the authority, noting Noting that the efforts to float the situation require time to determine their results, and therefore we issue a periodic statement approximately every 6 hours to announce the developments of the situation clearly and transparently.
Regarding the circumstances of the Panamanian ship’s delinquency, Lieutenant General Rabie explained that the Panamanian vessel EVER GIVEN crossed the Suez Canal last Tuesday, corresponding to 3/23 in the southern convoy heading from Suez to Port Said, preceded by twelve ships, as it crossed on the same day, from the north convoy 30 A ship and the ships stopped to wait in the Al-Timsah Lake and the Lakes Region, pointing out that the total number of ships waiting in the waiting areas so far has reached 321 ships, to whom all logistical services are provided.
Lieutenant General Rabie revealed the measures taken by the authority immediately after the accident occurred, as a central operations room was formed that includes various specialties to develop an action plan to float the ship and resume navigation traffic in the canal again, in parallel with the immediate movement of the rescue team to inspect the site of the accident and determine the effects of it and the extent of damage to the ship’s hull. And aspects of the canal from the accident, along with the propulsion of five locomotives to be used in the flotation work, and guidance awaiting the ships of the northern convoy in the lakes until the completion of the floatation of the ship.
The head of the authority confirmed that the authority dealt quickly with the accident that did not result in any injuries, deaths or pollution accidents, explaining that the authority’s strategy relied on three basic stages: the use of locomotives for tensile work, then the dredging using the authority’s dredgers and returning again to pulling maneuvers, and finally resorting to Reducing the load, as it is difficult and time consuming to implement
Lieutenant General Rabie explained that the floatation procedures of the Panamanian container ship began the day after the accident and included the use of the ground excavators to lift the effects of the accident on the sides and curtains of the canal that were severely damaged in addition to the displacement of the rocks at the front of the ship in preparation for the start of the floatation procedures, indicating that the efforts included reducing the water balance. With a load of 9,000 tons to reduce the load of the ship and facilitate its floatation, in parallel with the regulation of navigation movement, as the date of the northern convoy was changed to move later than its usual time, as it was intended to complete its journey in the canal according to the first scenario to manage the crisis, but we resorted to changing the scheme and directing the ships of the convoy to wait in garages And designated waiting areas in the lakes due to the failure of the ship to float.
In light of the efforts made to manage the crisis, Lieutenant General Rabie said that the ship’s agent and the company that owned it had been contacted to unify efforts, pointing out that the owner company had initiated a contract with the Dutch company SMIT specializing in maritime rescue and coordination with the authority to join the authority’s team during the two days following the accident.
The head of the authority stated that on Wednesday evening, the dredging work began to remove the quantities of sand surrounding the front area of the ship, allowing it to float, through the tenth of Ramadan dredger to pave the way for entering the Mashhour dredger, which actually started work last Thursday morning.
The head of the authority noted that upon the arrival of the Dutch team last Thursday, a meeting was held with the authority’s working group to discuss the procedures for floating the ship, stressing that the Dutch team praised all the measures taken by the authority in managing the crisis and its recommendation for the use of dredging and the exclusion of resorting to the scenario of reducing the load due to the difficulty of its application.
The procedures for floating the ship during the second day of work, last Thursday, included the well-known dredging in the vicinity of the bow area to remove targeted quantities of sand estimated at about 15 to 20 thousand cubic meters of sand, taking into account the standards of accuracy and safety factors of navigation, as well as coordination With external parties such as MARADIVE and the Red Sea Ports Authority to pay additional locomotives to participate in the pulling work, and Izzat Adel and Barakah 1’s tugs were also pushed with a force of 160 tons.
As for the measures that were taken on Friday, as part of the efforts to float the ship, they included the completion of the dredging works and the arrival of a draft of 13 meters, then the evening start of tension maneuvers with the participation of 14 locomotives, which resulted in achieving positive results, most notably the operation of the engine and the rudder at full capacity, while work is currently underway. To make pulling maneuvers at times appropriate to the conditions appropriate to the factors of tides and wind speed, provided that the inconvenient times for dredging around the front of the ship and loosening the sand underneath are taken advantage of to facilitate the process of floating it during the tension maneuvers.
The head of the authority explained that the accident occurred at the beginning of the southern entrance to the canal and not in the new Suez Canal, as some claimed. On the contrary, the navigation movement in the canal would not have stopped if it had occurred in the new Suez Canal.
He stressed that we cannot definitively determine the causes leading to the accident, as such major accidents remain compound accidents that have more than one factor, and the bad weather factor remains just an auxiliary factor and not the main factor, especially since navigation in the Suez Canal is organized naturally even during waves of bad weather.
Lieutenant General Rabie appreciated the offers received by the authority to assist in the procedures for floating the ship, especially from the United States of America, the United Arab Emirates, Greece and China. It is likely that these offers will be subject to coordination in the event of having to use the third scenario of reducing the load.
Lieutenant General Rabie also confirmed that the authority is working on developing its capabilities in the field of maritime rescue by contracting to build 5 gigantic locomotives in the Chinese Guangzhou shipyard with a force of 80 tons, in addition to the work of a series of garages on the new channel, and he also indicated that new dredgers have joined the authority’s fleet of dredgers, namely The two new companies, “Mohab Mamish” and “Hussein Tantawi”, and the construction of three start-ups in a French industry to combat pollution.
The head of the authority stressed that the authority spares no effort to float the container ship, just as all the state’s efforts are concerted to quickly resolve this crisis because it is related to the status and reputation of Egypt, stressing the authority’s keenness to provide logistical services to the ships waiting in the Timsah Lake or the Lake District.
At the end of the conference, Lieutenant General Usama Rabie called upon journalists and foreign agency correspondents not to pay attention to rumors and to investigate the accuracy of what is published in this regard, and to rely on official data issued by the authority periodically.