The Ever Given’s crew is safe, still onboard, and is getting paid while the ship’s being investigated

Ever given
The “Ever Given” container ship operated by the Evergreen Marine Corporation, sails through the Suez Canal, after it was fully freed and floated.

  • Egyptian authorities are investigating the Ever Given after it blocked the Suez Canal for six days.
  • The National Union of Seafarers of India’s general secretary is hopeful the crew will be absolved.
  • The union’s general secretary said the crew will continue to be paid as the inquiry continues.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The 25-person Indian crew of the Ever Given is stressed and tense, but is doing well as the massive container ship faces investigations after blocking the Suez Canal.

Abdulgani Serang, the general secretary of the National Union of Seafarers of India, gave Insider an update on their wellbeing on Friday.

The Egyptian government launched an inquiry into the event to uncover what went wrong after the ship became wedged in the canal and upended global trade. Investigators questioned the Ever Given’s crew on Wednesday, Suez Canal Authority Chairman Osama Rabie told local outlets, according to Reuters.

“There is a clear danger that the crew will be made scapegoats,” a senior authority in the shipping industry told the Times of India. The publication also said the Ever Given’s crew could be placed under house arrest until the investigation is completed.

ever given suez canal
The Ever Given sits beached across the Suez Canal, blocking all traffic. The ship was re-floated on March 29.

Serang told Insider that the crew of the Ever Given is safe and awaiting the results of the investigation, and added that reports about the status of the crew have been blown out of proportion.

“We want the inquiry done so corrective measures can be taken in the future,” Serang told Insider, “but we don’t want to take a guess about house arrest. Let’s not jump the gun and just wait for the results of the inquiry.”

Despite the investigation, Serang told Insider he’s optimistic that the crewmembers won’t face consequences.

“We are hopeful that the inquiry will come out that the seafarers end up clean,” Serang said. “As of now, the reports are that it was purely a weather-related incident.”

The Ever Given was traveling faster than the speed limit of the Suez Canal before getting stuck, Bloomberg reported. Initial investigations suggested the ship became beached due to high winds and ruled out any mechanical or engine failures.

ever given great bitter lake
A radar image taken by the Sentinel-1 satellite shows the Great Bitter Lake on March 31. The Ever Given is the bright ship on the lake’s eastern side.

The union secretary also said the Ever Given’s crew will continue to get paid even as the ship waits inspection in the Great Bitter Lake to determine if it can continue to its port of call.

“Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement is a company of repute,” Serang said, “and the company and union have an agreement in place. All the things will be taken care of and there is no cause to worry whatsoever.”

The owners of the Ever Given recently filed a lawsuit in the High Court of London, The Lawyer reported. According to a spokesperson for Evergreen Marine Corporation, the ship’s operators, the filing is in relation to the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 and relates to liability and compensation claims related to the beached ship.

The preemptive lawsuit was filed to limit the potential damages faced by the owners of the Ever Given and was not filed in retaliation against the ship’s crew, The Maritime Executive reported.

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Turkish media outlets – including the BBC – fell for an April Fools’ news story that said the UN was planning a second Suez Canal for Egypt

ever given suez canal guardian april fool turkey egypt
A screenshot of The Guardian’s April fool article, as of 7pm March 31.

  • Turkish media appears to have fallen for an April fools prank by British newspaper The Guardian.
  • The Guardian published a spoof story claiming a second Suez Canal was in the works.
  • Several outlets, including BBC Turkey, reported – and then deleted – the story.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

An ‘April Fools” news article claiming the United Nations is looking into building a second Suez Canal appears to have been taken wholly seriously by major Turkish media outlets.

On April 1, The Guardian published “‘Suez 2’? Ever Given grounding prompts plan for canal along Egypt-Israel border,” an article that rapidly gained attention given the current international interest in the canal.

The article said that the UN was studying the feasibility of a second channel along the Egypt-Israel border.

suez canal april fools guardian graphic ever given turkey
A graphic that appeared in The Guardian’s spoof, marking “Suez 2” in red along the Egypt-Israel border.

Several Turkish outlets appear to have taken it at face value, including BBC News Türkçe , which reported the story.

BBC turkey april fools suez canal Guardian ever given
A screenshot of the now-deleted BBC Turkey article.

“The eyes and ears of the world were there! UN stepped in, rolled up sleeves for 2nd Suez Canal,” read the headline used online by major national paper Hürriyet.

T24, an online Turkish news outlet, also published the story. The pages have now been deleted, but can be found via Google’s cache.

Unfortunately, it was a spoof. The article – written by “Flora Lopi” – cited “sources” such as “Iver Shovel,” “international tunnelling company OFP Lariol,” and “Mo Sez, a regional expert in water division management.”

The Guardian went all in and created a fake Twitter account for “Flora Lopi,” who played along with the joke on social media:

The apparent mistake was first reported by online news portal Gazete Duvar.

Middle East Eye Turkey correspondent Ragıp Soylu, who tweeted images of several print front pages that Insider has not been able to independently confirm:

The fake story created a huge buzz when first published, and “Suez 2” briefly trended on Twitter in the UK. It’s not a surprise – the Ever Given has dominated the news cycle ever since it was grounded for six days in the crucial waterway.

The 220,000-ton container ship completely blocked one of the world’s most important trading routes, choking the supply chain – and sparking endless memes. The ship was eventually freed on Monday, and the accumulated backlog of vessels is slowly passing through the channel.

The Guardian updated its story, marking it “April Fools’,” as of noon on April 1, as is traditional with spoof stories.

The BBC, T24 and Hürriyet did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

– Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said incorrectly that Ragıp Soylu, not Gazete Duvar, was the first to spot the Turkish media’s error. This has been corrected.

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Satellite images show the Ever Given sitting in an artificial lake off the Suez Canal, where its hull will be inspected for seaworthiness

ever given great bitter lake
A radar image taken by the Sentinel-1 satellite shows the Great Bitter Lake on March 31. The Ever Given is the bright ship on the lake’s eastern side.

  • The Ever Given once stuck in the Suez Canal is in an artificial lake with its 18,000 containers.
  • The giant container ship is awaiting a hull inspection that will decide if it can continue sailing.
  • In the meantime, a backlog of 422 ships has resumed traffic in the Suez Canal.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Three days after the Ever Given container ship was dislodged from the Suez Canal, it remains anchored in an artificial lake, its future route uncertain.

The ship, operated by the Evergreen Marine Corporation, had been en route to Rotterdam, Netherlands, when it ran aground in the canal on March 23. It remained wedged horizontally for six days, blocking a major global shipping route and becoming an international spectacle.

A spokesperson for Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the company that manages the Ever Given, told Insider the ship is due for a “hull inspection” and will remain in the Great Bitter Lake until it’s completed.

Evergreen said in a statement that the upcoming inspection “will determine whether the ship can resume its scheduled service” to Rotterdam.

In the meantime, traffic along the Suez Canal has resumed, though the Suez Canal Authority chairman told reporters on Monday the backlog of 422 ships would take several days to clear.

Another satellite image from Maxar Technologies shows a line of ships steadily making their way down the canal on March 31:

suez canal shipping traffic
Shipping traffic in the Suez Canal has resumed, after the Ever Given was dislodged on March 29.

The Ever Given initially got stuck in the canal due to high winds from a sandstorm. It was ultimately freed thanks to a combination of dredging operations that removed the sand and mud from underneath the ship’s hull, and tugboats that pulled and pushed the ship into position.

The vessel is one of the world’s largest container ships – it’s roughly the same length as the Empire State Building and can carry up to 20,000 containers. The debacle cost the global economy an estimated $400 million per hour.

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A supermoon played a crucial role in freeing the Ever Given from the Suez Canal, boosting the tide so it was easier to move

super Worm moon super moon
A supermoon.

  • The Ever Given was freed from the Suez Canal on Monday thanks in part to a supermoon.
  • The phenomenon occurs when the moon orbits closer to earth, increasing its pull on the seas.
  • One came on Sunday, leading to a “spring tide” that increased water levels during the operation.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A supermoon helped dislodge the Ever Given container ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal, raising the tides with its gravitational pull.

The Ever Given was finally freed on Monday, after 6 days blocking the Suez canal and backing up international transport.

Much of the work was done by humans and their heavy machinery – like tugboats and the powerful Mashhour dredging ship that moved vast quantities of sand away from the ship’s full.

But it may not have worked if the heavens hadn’t been aligned.

Noon tides were unusually high on Monday because they coincided with a full moon. Insider’s Kevin Shalvey noted the expected high waters while the operation was underway.

Tides are at their highest when the moon is full, or there is a new moon.

Tide Forecast Suez Canal Spring Tide
Suez Canal tides from March 27 to April 4.

On such days, the sun, moon and earth are aligned, pulling the tides in one direction and increasing the water’s movement.

These are called “Spring” of “King Tides”, and they happen twice a month.

Spring Tide Graphic NOAA
Spring tides occur with the arrival of a new or full moon.

Sunday night’s full moon also happened to be the worm moon, the first full moon in March. By some definitions, it also counted as a supermoon.

A supermoon happens when the moon is full while its orbit is closest to the Earth. It is characterised by being brighter and larger than other full moons.

The Moon orbits the Earth in an oval shape. At its farthest point, it is about 253,000 miles from the Earth. At its closest to the Earth, it is about 30,000 miles nearer.

The full moon that helped the boat escape was on March 28. The moon was even closer on March 30, according to EarthSky.org.

That was a day after the moon and tide that helped free the Ever Given, but it is common to refer to several consecutive nights’ worth of moons as being supermoons.

The teams working to free the Ever Given knew this would come, and noted in advance that tides were due to rise an extra foot and a half, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Suez Canal reopened after the Ever Given was freed, enabling shipping via the channel to resume.

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Egypt has opened a formal investigation into how the Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal

Ever Given in the Suez Canal
The Ever Given stuck in the Suez Canal.

  • Egypt opened a formal investigation into how the Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal.
  • The ship blocked one of the world’s most important trade routes for almost a week.
  • The head of the canal authority previously said “technical or human errors” may be responsible.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Egypt has opened a formal investigation into how the Ever Given container ship got stuck in the Suez Canal, which blocked a major trade route for almost a week, the BBC reported.

Captain Sayed Sheaysha, an advisor to the Suez Canal Authority, said that experts would board the ship on Wednesday to try and gather information, the BBC reported.

And Sheasha told Reuters that investigations were due to begin on Wednesday, and plan to focus on the state of the ship and the actions of the captain.

The Ever Given was stuck across the canal for six days before it was freed on Monday. It created a huge and expensive backlog of other ships, the effects of which could still result in shortages of goods around the world.

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the technical manager of the ship, said on Monday that initial findings suggested the ship ended up across the canal because of high winds, and said engine failure or any other mechanical issues were not responsible.

But Osama Rabie, the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, said last week that “technical or human errors” could have been to blame.

He had previously blamed the wind, but then said they were not the “main reason.”

Another investigation, the findings of which will be reported to the International Maritime Organization, began on Tuesday.

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The Ever Given has been freed and is moving again after 6 days blocking the Suez Canal

Ever Given freed live stream Suez Canal Authority Facebook March 29 2020
The Ever Given seen in a still from a Facebook live video by the Suez Canal Authority on March 29, 2021, announcing that it had been freed.

  • The Ever Given has been freed after spending nearly a week stuck in the Suez Canal.
  • Video showed the vessel moving again after a long effort to unstick it.
  • The ship is being dragged further up the canal to an artificial lake for inspection.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Ever Given, the massive container ship that has spent days stuck in the Suez Canal, was set free Monday, restoring traffic to the crucial waterway.

Boskalis, a Dutch company that worked with Egyptian authorities, announced in a statement that the 1,300-ft long vessel was freed from its position blocking the canal at 3:05 p.m. local time Monday.

This video, posted by NBC reporter Raf Sanchez, clearly shows the vessel’s movement:

According to the Associated Press, tugboats were able to pull the 220,000-ton ship from the bank of the canal where it had been stuck for nearly a week.

The Ever Given was stuck for around than 152 hours. With the costs of the blockage having been estimated at $400 million per hour, that amounts to a total cost of around $60 billion.

The ship’s crew of 25 Indian nationals are in good health, according to Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the ship’s technical manager.

The tugs will now pull the ship to Great Bitter Lake – a wide body of water midway through the canal – where it will be inspected, the report said.

This live stream, posted to Facebook by the Suez Canal Authority, showed the ship after it had been freed.

It is unclear when the canal will reopen to ordinary traffic, the Associated Press (AP) reported. But the backlog of vessels numbers around 400 and could take up to a week to clear.

The Ever Given became wedged in the canal at around 7.40 a.m. on Tuesday March 23, blocking one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.

Smaller vessels were redirected along the canal’s older, parallel route, but this was too small for the largest ships.

suez canal before after
(L) The Suez Canal in 2014, before its expansion. (R) shows the canal in 2016, with the new channel.

The exact cause of the grounding is still unclear. But high winds – common at this time of year in Egypt – were blamed as one of the main reasons the ship lost control and ended up with its bow and stern lodged on opposing banks of the canal.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) worked fruitlessly with tugboats and excavation equipment for two days, before partnering with Dutch firm Boskalis on Thursday.

On Friday, authorities hailed a minor victory as the ship’s rudder was freed. But it took until Monday morning for the entirety of the stern to be released, through the use of tugboats, the ship’s own winches, and a specialist dredging ship that can move upwards of 70,000 cubic feet of sand an hour.

Ever Given Skitch
The Mashhour dredger removing sand from around the stuck Ever Given ship in the Suez Canal.

The Egyptian-Dutch partnership opened up a path of clear water for the first time in six days.

This avoided the much-feared necessity of removing cargo – a costly and time-consuming activity that would have needed new equipment.

“The time pressure to complete this operation was evident and unprecedented,” said Boskalis CEO Peter Berdowski in the company’s statement.

Some companies had started to send their ships on a long detour round Africa’s southern tip to avoid the situation.

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The Ever Given was freed with the help of the Mashhour, a huge dredging ship that moves 70,000 cubic feet of sand an hour

Ever Given Skitch
The Mashhour dredger removing sand from around the stuck Ever Given ship in the Suez Canal.

  • The Ever Given, a massive container ship stuck in the Suez Canal, has been freed.
  • It was helped by a huge dredging ship that can shift more than 70,000 cubic feet of sand an hour.
  • The Ever Given blocked one of the world’s most important trade routes for almost a week.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The massive container ship that spent days wedged in the Suez Canal was freed Monday with the help of a huge dredging ship that can shift more than 70,000 cubic feet of sand an hour.

The Ever Given was stuck across the canal for six days, blocking one of the world’s busiest trade routes and causing a huge and costly backlog in both the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

Key to the eventual success dislodging it was a huge dredger called Mashhour, which started working Thursday to remove sand from around the ship.

The below painting shows what it looks like:

And this photo shows it in action:

ever given suez canal
The Ever Given.

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the technical manager of the Ever Given, said the dredger could shift 2,000 cubic meters of material an hour – more than 70,000 cubic feet.

Osama Rabie, the Suez Canal Authority chief, said the Mashhour did most of the dredging work around the Ever Given. Its work, he said, was what allowed tugboats to start their efforts to move the ship.

Other, smaller dredgers that could get closer to the Ever Given were also used. Combined they vacuumed up 27,000 cubic meters of sand and mud around the ship, the Associated Press reported.

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An engineer working to free the Suez container ship says the bow is still stuck and re-floating it was the easy part

ever given refloated monday 29 march suez canal
The Ever Given, after it was partially refloated, in the Suez Canal, Egypt March 29, 2021.

  • The Ever Given has been re-floated and its rear freed from the bank of the Suez Canal.
  • But its front is still stuck, and freeing that will be harder, said an expert involved in the work.
  • Dutch dredging CEO Peter Berdowski said “don’t cheer too soon” at progress so far.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The CEO of the Dutch company that helped re-float the Ever Given in the Suez Canal said it’s too soon to celebrate, predicting that the last stages will be the most difficult.

Peter Berdowski, CEO of dredging specialists Boskalis, has been working with Egyptian authorities to free the massive container ship that got stuck almost a week ago.

For six days, the ship has blocked one of the world’s most crucial maritime passages, causing havoc for at some 400 ships waiting to pass through, according to Lloyd’s List.

So the news early Monday that the Ever Given had been re-floated, and its stern freed, was greeted with relief from mariners and a victory lap by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

As of 11.30 a.m. local time, new maneuvers were under way to continue the progress, according to a statement from the Suez Canal Authority (SCA).

Lt. Commander Osama Rabie, chair of the SCA, said that “in all certainty work will be complete very soon.”

But Berdowski warned Monday that there are more struggles ahead. “Don’t cheer too soon,” he told Dutch radio station NPO Radio 1, according to the Associated Press (AP).

While the stern of the ship is free, its bow is still stuck fast in the canal’s clay sand banks, he said Monday.

“The good news is that the stern is free but we saw that as the simplest part of the job,” the AP reported him as saying.

“But she is still stuck in the mud,” he said, according to Reuters.

A spokesperson for the company said there is a 70% chance the ship would come free on Monday, according to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

“If we don’t succeed, we will also dredge underneath the ship. So far, this has only been done on the sides,” the paper reported the spokesperson as saying.

ever given suez canal
Dredging work at the Ever Given on Thursday, as seen from space.

CNN producer Mick Krever tweeted translated excerpts of the interview, in which Berdowski said that lightering the vessel – taking the cargo off – might still prove necessary.

Without the stern fixed in one place to provide leverage, the work to move the bow will be harder, Krever quoted Berdowski as saying. The bow is still stuck “rock solid,” he added.

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Oil drops after Ever Given container ship blocking the Suez Canal is refloated

2021 03 29T081237Z_388890586_RC2WKM93CCRG_RTRMADP_3_EGYPT SUEZCANAL SHIP.JPG
The Ever Given was partially refloated on Monday

Oil prices fell on Monday and traders breathed a sigh of relief after the giant container ship Ever Given that has blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week was refloated.

Brent crude oil, the global benchmark price, fell as much as 2% before recovering somewhat to stand 0.6% lower at $64.03 a barrel on Monday morning. WTI crude was down 1.1% to $60.30 a barrel.

The fall in oil prices was a sign that the pressure on global supply chains is set to ease, with the local authorities saying they will act fast to try to clear the backlog of ships at the crucial trade route.

The Suez Canal Authority said on Monday the Ever Given ship, which has been lodged lengthways in the canal for almost a week, had been successfully refloated and brought away from the shore. It said the ship was not yet completely free, however.

It added: “Navigation shall be resumed immediately upon the complete restoration of the vessel’s direction.”

The Ever Given, an enormous container ship almost the length of the Empire State Building, has been stuck in the canal since Tuesday, completely blocking the route and snarling up global trade.

Almost 15% of world shipping goes through the Suez Canal, which cuts through Egypt from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.

The blockage sent oil prices sharply higher, as backlogs of energy shipments built up. Brent crude had fallen to close to $60 a barrel on Monday, but rose near $65 over the week.

Other factors affected oil prices too, however, with uncertainty surrounding demand as economies recover and a meeting of the Opec oil cartel and its allies later this week.

“Brent has been trading soft in the morning session today after reports emerged that the ship blocking the Suez Canal has been refloated though it’s still unclear how soon the trade route could be reopened,” Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at Dutch bank ING, said.

Jefferies analyst David Kerstens said the Suez blockage would worsen global trade, which has already been disrupted by the coronavirus crisis.

He said shipping capacity on the Asia-Europe route will be “temporarily reduced by c.25%, while port congestion is set to further increase, in a market already characterised by supply chain bottlenecks and equipment shortages, which has resulted in record-high freight rates.”

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Ever Given, the massive ship blocking the Suez Canal for 6 days, has been partially freed

ever given refloated video
An image showing the Ever Given’s position as of Monday.

  • After six days being stuck, the Ever Given was refloated on Monday.
  • The massive cargo vessel caused a blockage in the Suez Canal, straining global trade.
  • It’s still not known when the canal will be open the hundreds of ships waiting to enter.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The massive container ship stuck in the Suez Canal was refloated on Monday.

The Ever Given had been stuck diagonally across the canal since Tuesday, clogging a vital artery for the global economy and prompting some ships to turn around and reroute around Africa’s southern tip.

The vessel’s stern was moved 334 feet away from the bank, according to a Monday statement from the Suez Canal Authority.

With the bow freed from the banks of the canal, tugboats then began working on straightening the vessel’s course so it could continue moving up the waterway, The Wall Street Journal reported early on Monday.

The ship’s rudder was freed from the sediment on Friday.

“It is good news,” Osama Rabie, the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, told The Journal. “We are not finished yet, but it has moved.”

A shipping source told Reuters that the ship had restarted its engines. Two sources also told the outlet that the ship was straightened and would be inspected before being moved.

Bloomberg reported that more than 450 vessels were in line to use the canal once it reopened. It is not clear when the channel will be passable for other ships.

Mohab Mamish, the Egyptian president’s advisor for the canal authority, told Bloomberg it would take about a week to clear the backlog once the canal was navigable again.

The impact on supply chains is expected to last several months, however, according to Lloyd’s List.

“For every day the canal remains blocked, the ripple effects on global capacity and equipment continues to increase and the blockage triggers a series of further disruptions and backlogs in global shipping that could take months to unravel, even after the canal is reopened,” the journal quoted the Danish shipping company Maersk as saying.

Reuters reported that crude oil prices fell by $1 a barrel to $63.67 on news of the refloating.

The 1,300-foot-long cargo ship, one of the world’s largest, became wedged in the Suez Canal early Tuesday morning. Egyptian officials initially blamed the weather, including strong winds and a dust storm. But on Saturday, officials said the logjam could be the result of “technical or human errors.”

The blockage prompted some ships to take a costly, dangerous detour thousands of miles around the southern tip of Africa and was said to be costing the global economy $400 million an hour in delayed goods.

The Ever Given is operated by the Taiwan-based shipping company Evergreen Group.

suez canal ever given egypt
The Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships, seen Friday after it ran aground in the Suez Canal.

Tugboats and dredgers had been working to free the ship for days with little success.

In a video shared on Twitter, boats could be heard honking after the ship was freed. Another clip appeared to show the ship moving again as the sun was rising.

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