Suez Canal: How are they trying to free the Ever Given?


By Reality Check & Visual Journalism
BBC News

image copyrightSatellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies

An operation to free a giant container ship stuck in the Suez Canal is continuing, with warnings it could take days or even weeks.

The Ever Given, operated by the Taiwanese company Evergreen Marine, is the length of four football pitches and is lying across the southern end of the canal preventing other ships from getting through one of the world’s busiest waterways.

Sorry, your browser cannot display this map

How could the ship be moved?

The ship is 400m (1,300ft) long, wedged diagonally across a canal not much more than 200m (656ft) wide.

Ship tracking software shows a group of tugs positioned on both sides of the ship.

Using cables or placing themselves directly alongside the stricken ship, up to 14 tugs have been attempting to move the ship off sand banks on both sides of the canal.

All efforts to dislodge the ship have so far proved unsuccessful although the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) says there has been a some lateral movement away from both banks during these operations.

Efforts are ongoing to dig out sand and mud from under the bow of the vessel.

These dredgers are a familiar site on the Suez Canal, says maritime expert Sal Mercogliano, and are used to continually dredge the waterway to keep it navigable.

“Large machines stick down into the water and basically pull dirt up from the bottom, which you can then deposit onshore.”

The company which manages the running of the vessel, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) says an additional specialist “suction dredger” has also been brought in, which is able to shift 2,000 cubic meters of material every hour.

image copyrightReuters
image captionDiggers on the ground are clearing sand and mud away from the bow

Peter Berdowski, the chief executive of the Boskalis dredging company, says dredging alone won’t resolve the problem.

It might take weeks depending on the situation” to free the ship using a combination of dredging, tugging and the removal of weight from the vessel.

image copyright© Cnes2021, Distribution Airbus DS
image captionSatellite images show ships waiting to pass through the blocked Suez Canal

A further option in efforts to re-float the vessel is to remove fuel, water and cargo.

Draining fuel from the ship’s tanks would help, but is unlikely to be sufficient without other load-lightening measures.

Some internal spaces within the hull of the boat contain water, and the managing agent BSM says arrangements have been made to reduce these levels using high-capacity pumps.

A ship the size of the Ever Given can carry as many as 20,000 twenty-foot containers and an operation to remove these by crane would be highly challenging.

Apart from the difficulties associated with getting suitable cranes close enough to the ship, the process could cause damage and even unbalance the ship.

“You would have to bring large floating cranes – but anything you do right now you would have to determine how it would affect the ship’s stability,” says Dr Mercogliano.

“Worst case scenario is that she breaks in half because of [uneven] weight distributions.”

image copyrightEPA
image captionAn image showing the Ever Given slewed across the canal was captured by a crew member on the ship behind



Source link

Get in Touch

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Combining light, superconductors could boost AI capabilities — ScienceDaily

As artificial intelligence has attracted broad interest, researchers are focused on understanding how the brain accomplishes cognition so they can construct artificial systems...

Small Ball

Purpose A game-like drill that teaches your players to advance runners and put pressure on the defense. Fielders get opportunities for game situation rep. Set...

Iowa Head Coach Marc Long Steps Down after 17 Seasons With Hawkeyes

University of Iowa head swimming & diving coach Marc Long has stepped down from his position after 17 seasons at Iowa. The school says...

Get in Touch

21,832FansLike
2,507FollowersFollow
17,500SubscribersSubscribe

Latest Posts

Combining light, superconductors could boost AI capabilities — ScienceDaily

As artificial intelligence has attracted broad interest, researchers are focused on understanding how the brain accomplishes cognition so they can construct artificial systems...

Small Ball

Purpose A game-like drill that teaches your players to advance runners and put pressure on the defense. Fielders get opportunities for game situation rep. Set...

Iowa Head Coach Marc Long Steps Down after 17 Seasons With Hawkeyes

University of Iowa head swimming & diving coach Marc Long has stepped down from his position after 17 seasons at Iowa. The school says...

A Tuesday “Mondays with Mick,” breaking down the NCAA national semis

And Mick’s got some pointed observations about the teams, the matches, the NCAA’s challenge rule, and more: We hope you enjoyed this video. Help...

WHAC, AAC & KCAC NAIA Men’s Lacrosse Playoff Scenarios

Through all of the turmoil over the past year and a half, we have finally made it to playoff lacrosse for the WHAC,...