Cargo vessel briefly runs aground in Egypt’s Suez Canal before being refloated

Traffic said normal after tugboats refloat Norwegian vessel; in 2021, Ever Given ship blocked waterway for 6 days, holding up $9 billion in daily trade

Illustrative: The Suez Canal near Ismailia, Egypt, August 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)
Illustrative: The Suez Canal near Ismailia, Egypt, August 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

CAIRO, Egypt — A cargo vessel briefly ran aground in Egypt’s Suez Canal on Monday, a canal services firm said, before the Suez Canal Authority said it had been refloated.

Leth Agencies earlier said the vessel, MV Glory, ran aground near the city of Qantara, in the Suez Canal province of Ismailia. The firm said three canal tugboats had been working to refloat the vessel.

Officials had no details on what caused the vessel to run aground. Parts of Egypt, including its northern provinces, experienced a wave of bad weather Sunday.

Satellite tracking data analyzed by The Associated Press showed the Glory in a single-lane stretch of the Suez Canal just south of Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea.

It wasn’t the first vessel to run aground in the crucial waterway. The Panama-flagged Ever Given, a colossal container ship operated by Taiwan-based company  Evergreen, crashed into a bank on a single-lane stretch of the canal in March 2021, blocking the waterway for six days.

The Ever Given was freed in a massive salvage operation by a flotilla of tugboats. The blockage created a massive traffic jam that held up $9 billion a day in global trade and strained supply chains already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ever Given, a Panama-flagged cargo ship, is pulled by one of the Suez Canal tugboats, in the Suez Canal, Egypt, March 29, 2021. (Suez Canal Authority via AP)

The Joint Coordination Center listed the Glory as carrying over 65,000 metric tons of corn from Ukraine bound for China.

The Glory was inspected by the Joint Coordination Center off Istanbul on January 3. The center includes Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian and United Nations staffers.

The Glory is 225 meters (738 feet) long.

Opened in 1869, the Suez Canal provides a crucial link for oil, natural gas and cargo. It also remains 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 vessels.

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