Massive Cargo Ship Gets Stuck In Suez Canal, Interrupting International Trade

[YouTube video ABC News Australia]

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One of the world’s largest cargo ships was turned sideways by strong wind gusts, causing all maritime traffic in the Suez Canal to be halted Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.

The MV Ever Given, a trade ship that operates between Asia and Europe, became trapped due to strong winds as it entered the canal from the Red Sea, the AP reported. Strong wind gusts and a sandstorm were in the forecast for Egypt on Tuesday.

“All crew are safe and accounted for,” said Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the Ever Given’s management company. “There have been no reports of injuries or pollution.”

The Ever Given was twisted on the canal in a way that the bow of the ship was touching the eastern wall of the canal and the stern was trapped against the canal’s western wall, Dr. Sal Mercogliano, a maritime historian tweeted.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) was attempting to move the vessel by deploying rescue and tug units, according to BBC News. Admiral Osama Rabie, chairman of the SCA, announced that an older section of the canal would be temporarily opened to enable sea traffic stuck behind the accident to get through, BBC News reported.

“This is the largest vessel ever to go aground in the Suez Canal,” Mercogliano told BBC News. Mecogliano claimed such incidents do not happen frequently but this one could potentially have a significant impact on global trade, according to BBC News.

“If they are unable to pull her free … in a high tide, they are going to have to start removing cargo,” Mercogliano said.

It could take several days to successfully remove the ship from its current position.