News Karnataka
Sunday, April 14 2024

Last group of stranded ships cross Suez Canal

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Cairo: The last group of ships stranded due to the blocking of the Suez Canal by the massive container vessel, Ever Given, since March 23, have crossed the vital waterway, an official said.

In a statement, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Osama Rabie said the remaining 61 ships, in addition to newly-arrived 24 vessels, passed through the canal on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.

He stressed that the work has been ongoing to ensure that all stranded ships cross the canal.

The 224,000-tonne Panama-flagged ship, Ever Given, was grounded on March 23 after it had veered off its course in a single-lane stretch of the canal during a sandstorm.

It was refloated six days later through the efforts of the SCA in cooperation with the Dutch firm Boskalis and its emergency response team SMIT Salvage hired by Ever Given’s owner.

The incident caused a six-day suspension of navigation in the canal, stranding at least 422 ships.

Linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, the Suez Canal is a major lifeline for global seaborne trade since it allows ships to travel between Europe and South Asia without navigating around Africa, thereby reducing the sea voyage distance between Europe and India by about 7,000 km.

Some 12 per cent of the world trade volume passes through the Suez Canal.

At least 18,840 ships passed through the canal last year.

The Suez Canal provides one of Egypt’s main sources of income, alongside tourism and remittances from expatriates.

Revenue from the waterway reached $5.6 billion last year.

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