CAIRO (AP) — A cargo ship carrying corn that ran aground in the Suez Canal early Monday has been refloated and traffic through the critical waterway has been restored, Egyptian officials said.
Suez Canal Authority Chairman Adm. Ossama Rabei said the Marshall Islands-flagged MV Glory suddenly experienced a technical problem while passing through the channel and sent four tugboats to refloat it.
He said the vessel, owned by Greek company Primera Shipping Inc., was part of a northbound convoy to China before it broke up 38 kilometers into the canal near the city of Kandara in Ismailia province. .
After refloating, the vessel was towed to a nearby marine park to fix the problem, Rabei said. The canal’s media office shared images showing the ship being towed by tugboats.
Rabei does not describe the nature of the technological failure. Parts of Egypt, including its northern provinces, experienced a wave of bad weather on Sunday.
He said in a statement that traffic on the canal resumed after the ship was refloated and 51 ships were expected to pass through the waterway in both directions on Monday.
“The traffic through the canal remained uninterrupted as the 26 northbound vessels were already in the waterway and (a) the southbound convoy MV GLORY will resume its journey in SCA tugboats-assisted transport,” Rabei said.
Marwa Maher, media officer for the canal authority, told The Associated Press that the ship ran aground around 5 a.m. local time and refloated five hours later.
Canal services company Leth Agencies said the Glory ran aground near Gandhara and released a graphic showing the ship was against the west bank of the canal, pointing south and not across the canal.
Satellite tracking data analyzed by the AP showed the Glory running along the single lane of the Suez Canal south of Port Said in the Mediterranean.
The Glory was not the first ship to sink in the critical waterway. Panama flagged Ever Given, a huge container ship, In March 2021 the canal’s single track hit an embankment, blocking the waterway for six days.
Ever Given was freed in a massive rescue operation by tugboats. The ban has created a major traffic jam that holds $9 billion a day in global trade and supply chains already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ever Given failure prompted Egyptian officials to widen and deepen the southern section of the waterway where the ship struck land.
In August, the Singapore-flagged Affinity V oil tanker ran aground The monorail of the canal blocked the waterway for five hours before it was released.
Glory listed 65,000 metric tons of corn from Ukraine to China.
Glory was inspected by the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul on January 3. The center has Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian and United Nations staff.
Opened in 1869, the Suez Canal provides an important link for oil, natural gas and cargo. It is one of Egypt’s top foreign currency earners. In 2015, the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi completed a major expansion of the canal, allowing it to accommodate the world’s largest ships.
Built in 2005, Glory is 225 meters (738 feet) long and 32 meters (105 feet) wide.
Associated Press writer John Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed.