Hong Kong-flagged Xin Hai Tong 23, a 190-metre bulk carrier, which got stuck in the Suez Canal after running aground, has been refloated into the waters with the help of tugboats, a shipping agent Leth Agencies said Thursday. The ship remained stuck for an hour and 16 minutes.
“M/V XIN HAI TONG 23 has grounded in the Suez Canal at KM 159/0400 hrs,” Leth Agencies had said earlier in a tweet, adding it was “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.”
Marine Traffic ship tracker and Refinitiv showed live updates of the ship, sailing under the flag of Hong Kong, as “not under command” near the southern end of the canal, positioned at an angle next to the canal’s eastern side, with three Egyptian tugboats surrounding the large ship.
The Suez Canal is one of the world’s busiest sea routers connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea.
Back in 2021, a 400-meter and 220,000-tonne cargo ship named Ever Given was stuck in the canal for nearly a week causing ship traffic on both sides of the canal and disrupting trade activities globally.
The canal is 200m wide at its narrowest point and around 30% of the world’s sea shipping passes through this route — making 12% of total global trade.
The operation to refloat the giant ship resulted in delays of hundreds of cargo ships carrying goods which were to be transported to their respective destinations.
The blockade also caused ships to take longer routes around the southern tip of Africa, resulting in high operating costs.—AFP