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Suez Canal traffic unaffected after ship briefly runs aground

09.01.23 13:31

The brief grounding of a cargo vessel in the Suez Canal did not affect maritime traffic in the crucial waterway, canal authorities said today.

The MV Glory, a grain vessel reportedly carrying 65,000 metric tons of corn from Ukraine bound for China, ran aground this morning near the Egyptian city of El-Qantara, according to Leth Agencies, a maritime service provider on the canal. Tugboats successfully refloated the ship, and only "minor delays" are expected for vessels that were stuck behind the MV Glory, Leth Agencies said.

Osama Rabie, the head of the Suez Canal Authority, told Dubai-based outlet Al-Arabiya that the grounding would not impact traffic on the canal.

It wasn't the first vessel to run aground in the crucial waterway. The Panama-flagged Ever Given, a colossal container ship, 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 giant 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 debacle prompted Egyptian authorities to begin widening and deepening the waterway’s southern part where the vessel hit ground.

In August, the Singaporean-flagged Affinity V oil tanker ran aground in a single-lane stretch of the canal, blocking the waterway for five hours before it was freed.

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 Jan. 3. The center includes Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian and United Nations staffers.

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.

The Glory is 225-meters (738-feet) long.

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