CAIRO: The Suez Canal Authority has refloated a grounded container ship, MSC ISTANBUL, in a tugboat operation.
The vessel ran aground during its crossing of the Suez Canal in its northbound transit from Malaysia to Portugal.
Adm. Ossama Rabie, chairman of the authority, said that maritime rescue workers successfully refloated the vessel in a tugboat operation.
Rabie added that after the central navigation control station received a notification that the vessel had run aground at 78 km on a canal marking, four tugboats were deployed to refloat the vessel immediately.
The four tugboats, Port Said, which has a bollard pull capacity of 95 tons, in addition to Mosaed 1, Mosaed 2 and Mosaed 5, were initially deployed. Baraka 1, one of the authority’s largest tugboats, later joined the refloating effort.
Rabie said: “The traffic through the canal was not affected by this abrupt incident as all the southbound vessels transited normally, and the rest of the northbound convoy was instructed to transit through the eastern waterway instead of the western lane.”
He added that the authority had the required experience and technical safety capabilities to deal with the situation.
On Jan. 9, the chairman of the authority said that its salvage unit had dealt with a sudden technical failure in the machinery of bulk carrier MV GLORY.
The vessel, which was traveling on a northbound convoy on its way from Turkey to China, was towed off the canal.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Suez Canal reported record revenues of 18.2 billion Egyptian pounds ($594 million) in December 2022, according to data released by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics.
The figures came after the canal’s authority said that 2022 brought all-time record earnings for the waterway, reaching $8 billion in transit fees.
The income from the canal was about 25 percent higher than the $6.3 billion netted in 2021.
The Suez Canal is the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia. Connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, the canal is involved in about 10 percent of global maritime trade and the majority of oil transported by sea.