Big Ship Gets Stuck Sideways, Briefly Blocks Suez Canal Again
It happened not far from where the Ever Given got stuck and disrupted global trade for a week in 2021.
The ship in question is the Affinity V, a large Singapore-flagged oil tanker built in 2016. The 827-foot long vessel ran aground at approximately 7:00 PM on Wednesday night local time. The ship was stuck sideways in the canal in the vicinity of the village of Abu Sial, temporarily blocking the canal to traffic in both directions. The Affinity V was headed for the Saudi Arabian port of Yanbu at the time of the incident.
The Suez Canal Authority was able to react quickly, deploying tugboats to help free the stricken vessel. The Affinity V was able to be refloated in short order, with the canal cleared for traffic to pass before 1:00 AM Thursday, local time.
The incident instantly drew comparison to the Ever Given incident last year. The Panama-flagged container ship ran aground roughly 6 miles south of where the Affinity V came to grief, and blocked traffic in the canal for six whole days before it was freed. It took serious damage from the incident, but eventually returned to service in late 2021.
As for the cause of the grounding, Egypt Today reports that the tanker had an issue with its steering system, according to the Suez Canal Authority. At the time of writing, at approximately 1:30 AM Egypt time, the Affinity V is continuing to traverse the canal in a southerly direction. The ship is being assisted by several tug boats— Svitzer Suez 1, 2, and 3, and the Ezzat Adel.
Some posters on Twitter were disappointed to see the boat freed so quickly, wishing instead to see drama and memes proliferate as per last year's incident. Regardless, fans of global commerce will be glad that the vital Suez Canal was not blocked once again for a long period of time.
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