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BBC : Suez Canal-Ever Given container ship finally freed

The stranded container ship is seen finally on the move and no longer blocking the canal

A giant container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week has finally been freed after a mammoth salvage operation.
Tug boats honked their horns in celebration as the 400m-long (1,300ft) Ever Given was dislodged on Monday.
Traffic is set to resume in both directions through the canal at 19:00 local time (17:00 GMT), according to local authorities.
Hundreds of ships are waiting to pass through.
Suez, which connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea through Egypt, is one of the world’s busiest trade routes.
Peter Berdowski, CEO of Dutch salvage company Boskalis, said the Ever Given had been refloated at 15:05 (13:05 GMT) on Monday, “thereby making free passage through the Suez Canal possible again”.
The Ever Given on the move
image captionThe Ever Given on the move on Monday
The vessel was being towed for safety checks to Great Bitter Lake, which sits between two sections of the canal to the north of where the ship got stuck.
Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi thanked Egyptians for their efforts in “ending the crisis” in the canal.
Analysis box by Theo Leggett, business correspondent

Disruption to global trade will not end with the refloating of the Ever Given. According to Lloyd’s List, there are currently more than 370 ships waiting to pass through the canal, including container vessels, tankers, and bulk carriers. Clearing that backlog is expected to take several days.

Some ships have already left the region, preferring to take an alternative, longer route around the southern tip of Africa. They will be joined by other vessels travelling from East Asia to Europe – whose operators have decided not to risk waiting for the canal to reopen.

Inevitably, cargoes will be reaching their destination much later than planned. There may be congestion when they arrive in port, while future sailing schedules have been thrown into disarray.

The cost of shipping goods to Europe is expected to rise as a result. Industry experts are warning that the knock-on effects on delicately balanced supply chains could be felt for months to come.
How was the ship freed?
The 200,000-tonne Ever Given ran aground last Tuesday morning amid high winds and a sandstorm that affected visibility.
To refloat it, Boskalis deployed a specialist salvage team, SMIT Salvage Papendrecht. They first freed the stern, with the bow following, despite high winds.
BBC graphic
Approximately 30,000 cubic metres of sand were dredged, with a total of 11 harbour tugs and two powerful seagoing tugs deployed.
On Sunday, canal officials had begun preparing to remove some of roughly 18,000 containers on board in order to lighten the load.
The containers are carrying a huge variety of items and the insured value of the cargo is believed to amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Graphic showing how tugs could be used to refloat the Ever Given by pulling the ship away from the banks of the Suez canal.
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What happens next?
The Suez Canal Authority has warned that it may take up to three days to clear the backlog of ships stuck at both ends of the canal.
Shipping group Maersk said knock-on disruptions to global shipping could take weeks or months to unravel.
Meanwhile, the Ever Given will undergo a full inspection at Great Bitter Lake, the vessel’s technical managers, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, said.
It said there had been no reports of pollution or cargo damage, and initial investigations had ruled out any mechanical or engine failure as a cause of the grounding last week.
The ship’s Indian crew of 25 remain aboard the vessel are safe and in good health, BSM said, adding: “Their hard work and tireless professionalism are greatly appreciated.”
Map showing alternative route for shipping while Suez Canal blocked

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