- This is not the first accident for the massive cargo ship blocking the Suez Canal.
- Ever Given collided with a ferry in 2019, damaging the smaller boat and injuring the skipper.
- An investigation at the time blamed winds, a factor that has also been named in the recent blockage.
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The Ever Given made waves last week when it became wedged in Egypt’s Suez Canal, blocking one of the world’s most important trade routes and costing $400 million an hour in delayed goods.
But apparently, it wasn’t the first accident for the big boat.
In 2019, the vessel collided with a small ferry in Germany, the Wall Street Journal reported. The small boat, which did not have any passengers aboard, was damaged and the skipper was mildly injured.
The Ever Given was traveling downstream on the Elbe River near Hamburg when it brushed up into the ferry. The vessel did not stop after the crash and instead kept on traveling to avoid an emergency stop in the cramped waterway, according to FleetMon, a global maritime database.
A criminal investigation into the incident found Ever Given’s captain was not at fault and blamed high winds for the collision, the Journal reported.
Winds have also been named as a factor in the recent accident.
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 ship is operated by Taiwan shipping company Evergreen, which also operated the ship during the 2019 accident. It’s unclear if any of the crew or the captain were involved in both incidents. The Journal reported it’s unlikely for a ship of the Ever Given’s size to have multiple accidents so close in time.
As of Sunday, crews were still working to free the vessel from the canal. Some progress was made on Friday when the ship’s rudder was freed from the sediment. In a video shared on social media on Saturday, a crew of tugboats celebrated with honking when they managed to move the big boat just slightly.
Officials still cannot say with certainty how long it will take to free the ship. Some hope a high spring tide expected on Monday could help move the vessel.