Tugboats and dredges are operating at full speed in operation to try to unheard “Ever Give”, the container carrier that has been blocking the Suez Canal since Tuesday, one of the main commercial routes in the world.
With 224 thousand tons, the ship is 400 meters long – equivalent to four football fields – and is stuck diagonally between two sides of the canal, which is 205 meters wide. More than 200 vessels are waiting in the area for a blockade solution, which can last for days or even weeks if operations fail in progress.
The strategy, adopted by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) and Evergreen Marine Corp., the operator of the ship, was to excavate the area where the “Ever Given” bow was stranded so that it could be rotated and return to normal water course. While special dredgers work, large tugs, using cable or positioning themselves upright next to the mega-vessel, try to get it out of the sandbank near the two banks.
Rescuers from the Netherlands and Japan were hired by operator Evergreen to help with the work to re-float the ship. But so far, these efforts have been unsuccessful because “Ever Giving” seems to be firmly stuck in the sandbank.
The dredgers stopped removing sand and mud from the area near the bow of the ship Friday night (local time) and were trying to spin the tugboat “Ever Given” again, Lt. Gen. Osama said in a statement. Head of SCA.
According to the Associated Press (AP), the man responsible for managing the Suez Canal said in the statement, “This is a complex technical operation that will require multiple efforts to free the vessel.”
Sail Mercogliano, an expert on maritime history at Campbell University in the US, told the BBC Network that the operators of these dredgers are used to work in the Suez Canal, as these types of equipment are used continuously to increase depth. Channel and keep it navigable.
In addition, a “suction dredge” is now in place that is capable of removing 2 thousand cubic meters of earth and mud mixture every hour. A specialized Dutch company Boscelis is managing the dredging operation.
Ever Giving later got stuck in the channel and made a huge sea traffic
However, Peter Berradansky, CEO of Boskalis, estimates that dredging alone will not solve the problem. “It could take weeks depending on the situation,” he said.
If the strategy fails, the teams involved in the rescue may have to lift the weight off the ship, sacrificing fuel and ballast water, which helps balance the ship. In charge of the ship’s technical management, the company Bernhard Schulte Shipments (BSM) said that some of the interior spaces in the hull of the boat are filled with water. High capacity pumps are being used to remove it.
According to experts, a more challenging and time-consuming option would be to use the crane to remove all 20,000 containers transported by meganavio, a process that can take weeks.
“In terms of comparison, if you put all 20 thousand containers in Ever Given [em aviões], You will need 2,500 cargo planes [Boeing] 747, “Tim Huxley, chairman of the board of directors of Mandarin Shipping Ltd., Hong Kong, told The Wall Street Journal.
The operation may become even more complex as time progresses, explained in an interview to AP Nick Sloane, the expert who led the operation in 2012 involving Costa Concordia Cruise. Despite being flexible, ships such as “Ever Giving” were not designed. Staying stable and full for a long time.
“The longer it takes, the worse the ship’s condition will be, as it is slowly sinking,” Sloane said. “Ships are designed to be flexible, but should not be placed in that position, with full load, at the end of the week.”
Mercogliano said that, in addition to structural problems, which may occur when the dredging operation does not work, there is a risk of cargo being removed. “You have to determine how this will affect the stability of the ship,” the expert said. “The worst case scenario is that it breaks in half due to delivery [desigual] For weight. ”