A bulk carrier that briefly ran aground in the Suez Canal was refloated, clearing a disruption to one of the world’s most vital waterways.
The Xin Hai Tong 23 was successfully lifted at 7:40 a.m. local time, according to a message posted to Twitter by Leth Agencies, a company that provides services for the passage. The ship halted some traffic on the canal when it ran aground earlier in the day, but the Suez Canal Authority said traffic is back to normal in both directions.
Osama Rabi, chairman of the SCA, said maritime rescue teams succeeded in dealing with an emergency malfunction in the ship’s engine.
Egypt’s Suez Canal is one of the world’s most important maritime conduits connecting North America, Europe and the Mediterranean to the Middle East and Asia. It’s a key transport channel for a myriad of commodities including oil and gas.
The vessel is roughly half the length of the 400-meter-long Ever Given, a massive container ship that blocked the Suez in 2021, roiling world trade. The Ever Given was stuck partly because it was longer than the width of the canal.
There have been several groundings in the canal this year, the most recent in March, which caused no delay to traffic in the waterway.