As of Monday morning, per the Associated Press, the container vessel had been “partially refloated” after being stuck for days and blocking all traffic through the Suez Canal. Shortly after the partial refloating status was announced, the vessel was said to be technically still stuck, though the “partially refloated” success marked the most notable development in the canal saga since news of this bizarre story first broke last week.
Admiral Osama Rabie, Chairman and Managing Director of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), confirmed in a press release on Monday that the container had been successfully reflected thanks to push-and-tow maneuvers which led to the restoration of 80 percent of the vessel’s direction.
And in a subsequent AP update, a canal service provider said that workers had “successfully set free” the ship. Tugboats were said to now be pulling the Ever Given toward the Great Bitter Lake, where—as noted in the SCA press release—the vessel will be subjected to “technical inspection” measures due to the possibility of damage.
Navigation through the Suez Canal, which is notable for the fact that more than 10 percent of global trade passes through it, was temporarily suspended last week after the Ever Given entered the canal from the Red Sea and ran aground. Authorities cited wind gusts as the cause for the vessel’s sustained stuckness, which—as nearly a full week’s worth of top-tier memes made clear—became quite the early 2021 news cycle boost.
Current estimates show that “at least” 367 other vessels, some carrying oil, have been waiting to get through the canal over the past week. It’s expected to take more than a week for the vessels backlog to be cleared.