CAIRO, Egypt—The stranded container ship blocking the Suez Canal for almost a week has been re-floated, Inchcape Shipping Services said on Monday. The ship is currently being secured, raising expectations the vital waterway could soon be reopened.
The ship was successfully re-floated at 4:30 a.m. local time on a high tide, Inchcape, a global provider of marine services said on Twitter.
Ship-tracking service VesselFinder has changed the ship’s status to under way on its website.
However, according to disinformation researcher John Scott-Railton, the channel may still be “partially obstructed by the Ever Given, with half of the ship’s body remaining in the undredged half of the canal.
The 400-metre (430-yard) long Ever Given became jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in high winds early on Tuesday, halting shipping traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
At least 369 vessels were waiting to transit the canal, including dozens of container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels, SCA Chairman Osama Rabie told Egypt’s Extra News on Sunday.
Over two dozen vessels had earlier opted for the alternative route between Asia and Europe around the Cape of Good Hope, adding some two weeks to journeys and threatening delivery delays.
Egypt’s Leth Agencies tweeted the ship had been partially refloated, pending official confirmation from the Suez Canal Authority.
The Suez Canal Authority had earlier said in a statement that tugging operations to free the ship had resumed. The Suez Canal salvage teams intensified excavation and dredging on Sunday and were hoping a high tide would help them dislodge it.
Crude oil prices fell after news the ship had been re-floated, with Brent crude down by $1 per barrel to $63.67.
The ship’s technical manager Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) did not immediately respond to a request to comment.
The skyscraper-sized Ever Given became stuck in the Suez Canal last Tuesday and has held up $9 billion in global trade each day, bringing disruption to the vital waterway. Already, hundreds vessels remained trapped in the canal waiting to pass, carrying everything from crude oil to cattle.