Normal traffic is expected to resume in the Suez Canal, the head of the canal authority stated on Wednesday after two vessels collided in the strategic waterway.
“Slight contact” was established after the liquefied natural gas (abbreviated LNG) carrier BW Lesmes stopped owing to a technical glitch that coincided with a very strong current that drove the oil tanker dubbed Burri toward it, the authority chair Osama Rabie mentioned.
He said the canal’s authority responded by sending out tugboats to move both ships.
Singapore-flagged vessel BW Lesmes was towed outside of the waterway, Rabie said. In contrast, the Cayman Islands-flagged vessel, Burri, could be seen to be approaching the southern end of the canal as of 12:00 pm local time, according to ship tracker MarineTraffic.
Rabie said that the canal’s north convoy will resume once the Burri is towed.
BW LNG AS, the operators of the BW Lesmes, reported that this vessel ran aground as it was transiting southbound via the Suez Canal close to 21:35 on Tuesday, the BW Group clarified in its statement.
The low-speed collision did not impact the vessel’s operational capabilities, and the ship stays structurally sound, it added.
BW Lesmes was re-floated at 03:30 a.m. per local time on Wednesday, and it would undergo further examinations at the Suez anchorage.
The Suez Canal chair said there did not appear to be major damages or pollution, but the Burri encountered a steering failure that needed repairs.
TMS Tankers, who manages Burri, refused to respond to requests for comments.
The Suez Canal is one of the busiest waterways in the world and the shortest shipping channel between Europe and Asia.
Almost 12% of the whole world’s trade sails via the canal. When there were strong winds back in 2021, a huge container vessel, dubbed the Ever Given, got jammed across, pausing traffic in both directions for six long days and disrupting global trade.
References: Times Of India, Reuters, Business Standard
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