After six days, the Suez Canal is finally on the verge of being clear again.
According to Bloomberg — which cited Maritime services provider Inchcape — salvage teams have managed to free the Ever Given, partially refloating the vessel.
The latest rescue attempt came after diggers removed 27,000 cubic meters of sand from the banks of the Suez Canal.
The MV Ever Given was successfully re-floated at 04:30 lt 29/03/2021. She is being secured at the moment. More information about next steps will follow once they are known. #suezcanel #maritime pic.twitter.com/f3iuYYiRRi— Inchcape Shipping (@Inchcape_SS) March 29, 2021
The giant container vessel had been lodged sideways, blocking the canal, after running aground last Tuesday (Mar. 23).
Videos posted to Twitter by Joyce Karam, a correspondent for Middle Eastern news outlet The National, showed the moment that the ship was freed.
Moment that Egyptian crew managed to free Vessel. Captain of crew breathing a sigh of relief, giving 👍🏽 and a “Hamdullah” (Thank goodness).— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) March 29, 2021
Over 300 ships 🚢 are jammed in #Suez Canal since Ever Given blocked the passage connecting Asia to Europe & US pic.twitter.com/VThiofqmwd
According to Karam, the captain of the rescue crew breathed a sigh of relief once the Ever Given had been re-floated before flashing a thumbs up to what appears to be an Instagram livestream.
"Praise be to God," he said.
Bloomberg reported that it was still unclear how soon the waterway would be open to traffic, or when the backlog of ships halted by the blockage would be eased.
According to the BBC, the Suez Canal sees about 12 per cent of global trade pass through its waters each day, along with around one million barrels of oil and roughly eight per cent of liquefied natural gas.
Revenue to the tune of US$14-15 million (S$18.85-20.2 million) were said to have taken a hit for each day of the blockage.
According to Bloomberg, more than 450 ships have been left stuck, waiting, or are on the way to the Suez Canal.
The front of the 400m-long Ever Given — operated by Taiwanese transport company Evergreen Marine — is reported to be damaged, though the vessel remains stable.
It is one of the world's largest container vessels.
Top image from Joyce Karam's Twitter and Suez Canal Authority's website