Tug boats successfully refloated a 252-meter oil tanker temporarily stranded in Suez Canal on Wednesday following a technical issue with the rudder, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) mentioned.
The Singapore-flagged tanker, Affinity V, drifted and obstructed the canal’s southern section while travelling around 1700 GMT in a southbound convoy of vessels, canal and shipping sources mentioned.
SCA sources mentioned that after 2200GMT, traffic became normal once again.
The incident occurred in the same canal’s single-lane stretch where a gigantic cargo vessel, the Ever Given, ran aground in March 2021. It was stuck for six days, disrupting worldwide trade.
Per TankerTrackers ship monitoring service, Aframax Affinity V appears to have lost its control as it was heading south.
Video Credits: Sky News Australia / Youtube
She blocked traffic temporarily and is now facing south again, but moving gradually with the assistance tugboat, TankerTrackers posted on Twitter after the news of the refloat was circulated.
The video released by SCA showed its chair, Osama Rabie, in a control room where the staff was striving to resolve the issue and footage of the oil tanker being escorted by tugs in the canal.
By Thursday morning, Refinitiv the Marine Traffic website and ship-tracking data showed that the Affinity V was able to pass through the canal and was in the Gulf of Suez.
The tracking sites showed that the tanker was headed for Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea port of Yanbu.
After the Ever Given had run aground, the SCA declared plans to expand the canal, including extending a second channel that permits shipping to pass in both directions along part of its course and deepening the existing channel.
Work on the expansion is expected to be completed by 2023.
References: Reuters, NDTV, Times Of Israel