MANSHIYET RUGOLA, Egypt – The Guardian container ship that blocked world trade by stopping the Suez Canal, buried its deep mechanical hump at the dusty brick house of Umm Gaffar for five days.
She saw where she was sitting in the bumpy dirt lane and believed that the ship, Ever Given, could take them into all those containers. Flat Screen TV? Full size refrigerator, washing machine or ceiling fan? Neither he nor his neighbor, at Mansiheet Ragola village, had a population of 5,000-ish, had any of them at home.
“Why don’t they take out one of those containers?” Joked Umm Gaffar, 65. “There could be something good there. Maybe it can feed the city. “
The Japanese-owned Evert Given and more than 300 cargo ships are now waiting to cross the Suez Canal, one of the world’s most important shipping arteries, which can at times supply the Manzilian Ragola.
Ruling cars, oil, livestock, laptops, jet fuel, scrap metal, grain, sweaters, sneakers, appliances, toilet paper, toys, medical equipment and more, ships were to supply much of the world, and the canal was Asia and the Middle East. From Europe and the eastern coast of the United States is their fastest route.
Canal officials said Saturday that the dredger helped dig up the ship’s rear on Friday night, freeing its hull, and by Saturday afternoon they had fallen 18 meters down the east bank of the canal, where the ship’s bow was solidly was stuck. But after a disposal team once again failed to displace the four-football-field-long leviathan from the sand bank ran aground On Tuesday, global supply chains were churned closer to one, blocking all shipping traffic through the canal. Full blown crisis.
Already, shipping analysts estimate, the massive traffic jam was trading at around $ 10 billion every day.
“All global retail businesses run in containers or own 90 percent of it,” said Alan Murphy, founder of C-Intelligence, a maritime data and analysis firm. “Everything is affected. Name any brand, and they will be stuck on one of those ships. “
Reducing the hitch depends on the ability to clean sand, mud and rock where the avar is given and to lighten the ship’s load again to help it float again, while the tugboat releases it. And try to pull. Analysts and shipping agents said their best chance could come on Monday, when a spring tide would raise the canal’s water level by about 18 inches.
The company that oversees the ship’s operations and crew, Bernhard Schulte Shipman, said the 11 tugboats to be held on Sunday were helping two more. The company said several dredgers, including a special suction dredger that could extract 2,000 cubic meters of material per hour, were excavated.
From the deck of a tugboat, where Egyptian officials allowed journalists to disarm operations for the first time on Saturday evening, a number of boats barely halfway up the side of the ship were visible, to keep them stable. Dredgers and heavy equipment stood toilets under the floodlight from the bow of the ship.
A powerful tugboat sat near the ship’s stern, waiting for the next re-swim attempt. But the high tide, which was forecast a little after 10:30 pm, came and went without progress.
However, most of the works were invisible. Solvent Master Captain Nick Slone of South Africa said that the team of eight Dutch salvage experts and naval architects overseeing the operation would need to survey the ship and seabed and build a computer model that would work around the ship without damaging it. Will help The one that led the operation to correct the Costa Concordia, a cruise ship that took off off the coast of Italy in 2012.
They will need to clear other ships from the area, a massive coordination effort. And they have to pay attention to the possibility that the Ever Giving Grounding has rearranged the Seabird, making it difficult for other ships to pass through the area even after it has been captured, with Captain Paul Foran, a maritime advisor who has worked . Other rescue operations.
All the while, he hopes that Ever Give remains intact. Both experts said that due to swinging in the middle of the ship, both its bow and stern were caught in the position for which it was not designed, the hull is prone to tension and cracks.
Mohammed Moseley, owner of First Suez International, a maritime logistics company in the canal, said dive teams were already inspecting the hull and they had not yet suffered damage. But in most other cases, Ever Giving had succumbed to Murphy’s rule: Whatever could have gone wrong began with the size of the ship among the world’s largest.
“It was the largest ship in the convoy, and it ended up in the worst part of the canal” – a narrow section with only one lane, said Captain Sloane. “And it was really unfortunate.”
If tugboats, dredgers, and pumps cannot work, they can be incorporated into a head-spinning array of specialized ships and machines, requiring hundreds of workers: small tankers to drain the ship’s fuel; The world’s longest cranes to unload some of their containers one by one; And, if a crane is not close enough or close enough, heavy-duty helicopters that can lift containers up to 20 tons – though no one has said where the cargo will go. (The entire 40-foot container can weigh up to 40 tons.)
Lt. Gen. Osama Rabi, the head of the Suez Canal Authority, said at a news conference on Saturday that while he hoped “we would not reach that level,” officials would call ships with cranes to move some containers.
Although canal officials and analysts hoped that the canal would be cleared later this week, Capt. Slone speculated that the operation would take at least a week. When a similarly sized ship, the CSCL Indian Ocean, sank near the port of Hamburg in 2016, it took about six days to clear the Elbe River.
All this because, put it simply: “This is a very big ship; This is a huge problem, ”said Richard Meade, editor of the London-based maritime intelligence publication, head of the Lloyds List. “I don’t think there’s any question that they’ve got everything they need. It’s just a question, it’s a big problem.”
If the ship is freed by Monday, the shipping industry may absorb the inconvenience, analysts said, but beyond that, supply chains and consumers may begin to see major disruptions.
Some ships have already decided not to wait, U-turn out from Suez Go a long way around The southern tip of Africa, a trip that can add weeks to travel and costs more than $ 26,000 per day in fuel costs.
On Saturday, General Rabi defended the canal’s safety record: 18,840 ships in 2020, zero accidents.
He said, “Everything that happened happened all over the world and it will happen again.” “The Suez Canal, as a passage, has nothing to do with this incident.”
In Manciat Ragola, whose name translates to “Little Village of Manhood”, it would be difficult to imagine any kind of traffic jam.
Donkey carts are covered with tall bricks, which collide with semi-paved streets between low-brick houses and lush green fields adorned with palm trees, dustbins and animal dung. A teenager ate ice cream from his motorcycle. Rosters offered unholy contests for afternoon calls to pray. Until the Eiver Given appeared, the towers of the purposeless mosques were the tallest structures.
“Do you want to see the ship?” A young boy bouncing excitedly under his car window asked a couple to meet the reporters. Ever since earthquake-like rumors of a shipwreck caused many to wake up around 7am, Ever Giving was the sole subject of the city.
“The whole village was watching,” said 19-year-old Yusuf Ghib, who works in a factory. “We’ve gotten used to being around that, because we’ve been watching the ship on our roofs for just four days.”
It was universally agreed that the scene was even better at night, when the ship shone with light: a skyscraper just outside the horizon of a big city, lying on the edge of it.
“When it lights up at night, it’s like a Titanic,” said Nadia, who, like her neighbor Umm Ghaffar, refused to give her her full name due to security forces in the area. “All I miss is the necklace from the film.”
Umm Gaffar had asked for his surname to avoid running away from government security personnel who warned residents not to take pictures of the canal and usually spread unrest. Nadia said that she was too scared to take pictures of the ship at night, though she wanted it badly.
Villagers and shipping analysts had the same question about Ever Given, if rooted in varying expertise. The operators of the ship insisted that the strong winds of a sand storm surrounded the ship, with the stack containers acting like a huge sail, yet other ships of the same convoy passed without incident. went. Previous storms had previous ships, villagers reported.
“We have seen worse winds,” said 19-year-old Ahmed al-Saeed, a security guard.
Captain Foran of the Marine Advisor said that two pilots from the Suez Canal typically cross the canal to help large ships sail, although they are operated by a member of the crew.
Shipping experts and government officials said the wind may well be a factor, exacerbating other physical forces, but suggested human error might come into play.
“Such an important event is usually the result of several causes: the weather was a cause, but perhaps a technical error, or a human error,” General Rabi said on Saturday.
Capt Fourn had the same view.
“I’m highly questioned, why was it the only one who panicked?” They said. “But they can talk about it later. Right now, all they have to do is take the animal out of the canal. “
Nada Rashawan contributed reporting.