Cairo, May 25 (IANS) The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) in Egypt on Thursday refloated a Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier which ran aground in the world’s busiest man-made waterway, according to an official statement.
“Three tugboats refloated a large ship that had been stranded in the Suez Canal,” Xinhua news agency quoted the SCA as saying.
The SCA rescue team managed to deal with an emergency breakdown in a XIN HAI TONG 23, the 190-metre bulk carrier near the southern end of the canal from Saudi Arabia.
In a tweet on Thursday morning, the Oslo-based Leth Shipping Agency said: “M/V XIN HAI TONG 23 has grounded in the Suez Canal at KM 159/0400 hrs – leaving behind 4 vessels from the early convoy in addition to the ordinary group which was planned to enter Suez Canal at about 0600 hrs. Suez Canal tugs are currently trying to re-float the vessel.”
In March 2021, the Panamanian-flagged and Japanese-owned ship Ever Given, one of the largest container ships in the world, ran aground in the Suez Canal and jammed global shipping traffic for nearly a week until it was refloated by a fleet of Egyptian tugboats and diggers.
Linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, the Suez Canal was officially opened for international navigation in 1869, serving as a lifeline for global seaborne trade.
About 12 per cent of the world’s trade passes through the man-made canal.
In January this year it was reported that the Suez Canal had posted a record-high annual revenue of $8 billion in 2022 from the passage and transit of 23,851 ships.
According to the Suez Canal Authorit, the number of ships crossing the waterway increased by 8 per cent in the seven years following the completion of a canal development project in 2015, with 135,000 ships crossing the canal in 2016-2022 compared to 125,000 ships in 2008-2014.