Salvage teams succeeded on Monday in freeing a massive container ship that had been stuck in the Suez canal for the past seven days, blocking billions of dollars' worth of cargo from crossing one of the world’s busiest marine waterways.
"We pulled it off!" said Peter Berdowski, the chief executive of the Dutch salvaging firm Boskalis, which was hired to assist in the process. I am excited to announce that our team of experts, working in close collaboration with the Suez Canal Authority, successfully refloated the Ever Given on 29 March at 15.05 local time, thereby making free passage through the Suez canal possible again."
He said 30,000 cubic metres of sand had been dredged to help free the vessel, which had been pulled free using 13 tugboats.
A full moon on Sunday gave the salvager an especially promising 24-hour window to work in, with a few extra inches of tidal flow providing a vital assist.
Then, just before dawn, the ship slowly regained buoyancy.
Even with the vessel released, it could be several days before other ships can sail through the canal, said a Greek sea captain whose oil tanker is stuck behind the Ever Given. "According to the canal’s rules they have to remove it."