On Wednesday, February 1, Suez Canal authorities used tug boats to tow the LNG Tanker Grace Emilia, which broke down and got stuck in the waterway.
The move was necessary to keep the traffic going in one of the world’s most important waterways. Sources close to the Canal authorities told Reuters that the ship was stuck in the waterway for 3 hours or more.
However, the stranding didn’t totally block the canal corridor as it happened at the southern end, which already had a second outlet to facilitate movement across the canal.
Earlier last month, a ship carrying corn from Ukraine got stranded in the canal. MV Glory was on its way to China when it ran aground. It was ultimately refloated.
So far, the most significant Suez Canal blockage was in 2021, when 400 meters long Ever Given was grounded for 6 days halting traffic and impacting global trade. Since then, the authorities have been on their toes to prevent any blocking. Several canal widening and deepening procedures were done in multiple places to avoid such hiccups.
Along with that, new, improved tug boats are now being used by the canal. Nearly 10% of global trade goes through this canal.
References: National News, Deccan Herald
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