Suez Canal tug boats free ship stuck in waterway

Officials say that canal traffic is unaffected

Suez Canal Authority tug boats tow the MV Glory after it became stuck in the waterway. Reuters
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Suez Canal tug boats freed a ship stuck in the waterway on Wednesday.

Sources told Reuters that traffic through the vital trade waterway was unaffected by the stranding.

The ship, stuck for more than three hours, is the LNG tanker Grace Emilia, which had broken down, Reuters reported, citing two canal sources.

The incident happened in a southern section of the canal where a second channel allowed ships to bypass the blockage, one of the sources said.

The latest incident comes three weeks after the MV Glory, bound for China carrying 66,000 metric tonnes of corn from Ukraine, had to be refloated after running aground.

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In 2021, the 400-meter Ever Given container ship ran aground in the canal, blocking global trade for six days due to “technical or human errors”.

Since then, canal authorities have sought to ensure that the canal is widened or deepened at key locations to prevent such incidents from happening again.

They have also bought newer, more powerful tug boats to help move ships that get stranded in the vital waterway, through which about 10 per cent of global trade passes.

The 193km canal connecting the Mediterranean and Red seas opened in 1869 and cuts the journey between Europe and Asia by about 8,900km, or 10 days of sailing.

Updated: February 01, 2023, 5:08 PM