Sunken Suez Canal tugboat removed from waterway

One crew member was killed when the boat collided with a Hong Kong-flagged LPG tanker on Saturday

The Suez Canal Authority used a crane to recover the tugboat 'Fahd', which sank after colliding with a tanker. Reuters
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A tugboat that sank in the Suez Canal after a collision with a liquefied petroleum gas carrier on Saturday was pulled from beneath its waters on Tuesday night, the canal authority said.

The Suez Canal Authority managed to remove the boat using one its cranes without affecting traffic through the waterway, said Adm Osama Rabie, the authority's chairman.

Adm Rabie thanked officials for completing the salvage effort "in record time" and said that despite the operation, 146 vessels traversed the canal on Monday and Tuesday bearing a total of 8.4 million tonnes of cargo.

The tugboat's hull was damaged after it was struck by the Hong Kong-flagged tanker Chinagas Legend, which was heading to the US from Singapore on Saturday. The boat began taking on water and sank soon afterwards. It was located on Saturday night after a search.

Six of the seven crew members on board were rescued and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The remaining crew member, a mechanic from Port Said, was trapped in the boat's living quarters. His body was recovered on Sunday night and handed over to his family.

The canal provides the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia. The authority has been working to expand southern sections of the waterway after a giant container ship, the Ever Given, ran aground there in 2021, blocking traffic for six days.

Tolls paid by ships using the canal are one of Egypt's main sources of foreign currency.

Updated: August 09, 2023, 11:47 AM