Successful Refloating of Grounded Merchant Ship in Suez Canal Averts Repeat of 2021 Crisis
A potentially disastrous situation was averted in the Suez Canal on Thursday when a large merchant ship was successfully refloated with the help of tugboats after being stuck for several hours. The Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier M/V Xin Hai Tong 23 became grounded around 4 a.m. local time while traveling southwards, causing concerns of a repeat of the 2021 crisis with the M/V Ever Given. However, the ship was refloated by 7:40 a.m. local time, thanks to the quick response of Leth Agencies and the aid of tugboats.
According to a statement from the Suez Canal Authority, the ship had an engine failure that caused it to lose control and become grounded. The incident delayed the convoy of ships moving northwards, which were scheduled to enter the canal at 6:00 a.m. local time and were rescheduled to do so at 9:30 a.m.
The incident did not cause any serious disruptions to global trade as the Xin Hai Tong 23 was able to continue its journey through the canal after being refloated. Navigation resumed normally in both directions, and the safety of other ships passing through the canal was ensured by the precautionary measures taken by the authorities.
This incident is not the first of its kind inside the canal, with several groundings happening in recent years. The most significant of these was the 2021 crisis involving the M/V Ever Given, which remained stranded for six days, causing losses estimated at nearly $9.6 billion for the global economy on a daily basis. The Ever Given ship was one of the world’s largest container ships, measuring more than 400 meters, more than twice as long as the Xin Hai Tong 23.
The successful refloating of the Xin Hai Tong 23 after a few hours ensured that there was no repeat of the crisis and that the global economy did not suffer any significant losses. The incident highlights the importance of efficient operation and response to prevent any potential disasters in one of the busiest shipping routes in the world.