Officials Refloat Grounded Ship in Egypt’s Suez Canal

An early Monday morning disruption in the Suez Canal has been resolved after traffic was resumed through the critical shipping waterway. The Marshall Islands-flagged MV Glory, owned by Greek firm Primera Shipping Inc., experienced a sudden technical failure while crossing the 38 kilometer-mark of the canal, heading to China from Ukraine with over 65,000 metric tons of corn on board.

In response, Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority deployed four tugboats to refloat the cargo ship. Adm. Ossama Rabei, head of the Suez Canal Authority, said the ship was towed to a nearby maritime park to fix the problem. The waterway soon began its usual operation, with 26 north-bound vessels already transiting and 51 predicted to pass through in both directions on Monday.

The Glory incident is just the latest setback for the Canal. In March 2021, the Panama-flagged Ever Given container ship ran aground and blocked the waterway for six days, causing an estimated $9 billion worth of delayed global trade per day. In August, the Singaporean-flagged Affinity V oil tanker crashed into the canal’s west bank, obstructing traffic for five hours.

Since its opening in 1869, the Suez Canal has been central to oil, natural gas and cargo shipping through Egypt, earning the country a significant amount of foreign revenue. In 2015, a major expansion of the Canal allowed it to hold the world’s largest vessels.

Despite its recent troubles, the Suez Canal has continued to remain a vital link between East and West, and its strategic importance is likely to persist into the years to come.

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