NEW DELHI: The all-Indian crew of MV Ever given, the containership stuck in the Suez Canal since March 23, is safe and working hard to refloat the vessel, says a media statement issued by Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), the company which manages the ship technically.
Meanwhile, the maritime traffic jam has grown to around 321 vessels. The vessel’s immobility is holding up goods valued at $ 9.6 billion a day costing about $ 400 million an hour, insurance company Lloyd’s estimates.
In India, the center has chalked out a four-point plan to deal with the situation arising from the blockage, including advising ships to re-route via Cape of Good Hope. This plan was chalked out in a meeting convened by the logistics division, department of commerce on Friday. It included prioritisation of cargo, freight rates, advisory to ports and re-routing of ships.
“All 25 crew (members) are safe and accounted for and they remain in good health and spirits. All crew are Indian nationals and remain onboard. They are working closely with all parties involved to re-float the vessel. The hard work and tireless professionalism of the Master and crew is greatly appreciated, “the statement said.
“Initial investigations suggest the vessel grounded due to strong wind … Smit Salvage has been assigned with the salvage operations. The focus is now on dredging to remove sand and mud from around the port side of the vessel’s bow. A specialized suction dredger, which can shift 2,000 cubic meters of material every hour, arrived on site on 25 March to support the ongoing dredging operations, “the statement added.
The canal route was last shut in June 1967, a convoy of 14 cargo ships was travelling through the Suez Canal when a sudden war broke out between Israel and Egypt. The war lasted for a few days; the ships were stranded for the next eight years!