Suez Canal: Grounded cargo vessel refloated

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A cargo vessel ran aground in Egypt’s Suez Canal on Monday, according to canal services firm Leth Agencies, but has now been refloated.

The company said Suez Canal Authority (SCA) tugboats rescued the Marshall Islands-flagged ship, which had been stuck near the city of El Qantara in the governate of Ismailia.

It said that only minor delays were to be expected with other traffic.

Officials had no details on what caused the 225-meter-long (738-foot-long) vessel to run aground.

The Joint Coordination Center (JCC) listed the Glory as carrying over 65,000 metric tons of corn from Ukraine bound for China.

The Istanbul-based JCC, which comprises representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Turkey and the UN, was set up in July 2022 to oversee the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

The initiative is based on a deal struck between the parties in Russia’s war on Ukraine to ensure the export of grain, other foodstuffs and fertilizers from Ukraine.

Not the first time

The accident recalls the grounding of the Panama-flagged container ship Ever Given in March 2021.

In that case, traffic in the crucial waterway was held up for six days. The blockage held up $9 billion (€8.4 billion) a day in global trade and added to the strain on supply chains that were already suffering under the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Suez Canal, which was opened in 1869, connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea and provides a vital link for oil, natural gas and cargo.

tj/rs (AFP, AP, Reuters)