The Coral Crystal vessel which temporary stranded on Thursday 9 September, 2021. Photo courtesy of Suez canal Twitter account
Traffic at Egypt’s Suez Canal was not affected by the brief grounding of the Coral Crystal vessel earlier on Thursday, as the canal authority managed to quickly re-float the ship hauling 43,000 tonnes of cargo.
In a statement, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Osama Rabie said the vessel had run aground around the 54km mark in the world's longest canal as part of a convoy coming from the north.
Built in 2012, the Coral Crystal is a bulk carrier that sails under the flag of Panama.
In Thursday’s statement, Rabie said the authority quickly and professionally dealt with the temporary stranding of the Coral Crystal vessel using the canal’s tugboats.
He added that traffic at the canal was not affected, as the ships following the Coral Crystal were redirected to the eastern El-Ballah bypass.
The Coral Crystal resumed its trip and all ships have been allowed to pass from both directions of the canal, Rabie said.
He affirmed that the SCA has the required navigational and technical capabilities to deal with malfunctions as well as the necessary infrastructure to deal with emergency situations.
The incident comes months after a Panama-flagged container ship, the Ever Given, ran aground and blocked traffic at the Suez Canal for nearly a week, causing the canal to bear huge losses.
The 400-metre, 220,000-tonne container ship was re-floated on 29 March by a fleet of Egyptian tugboats and diggers and was allowed to leave Egyptian waters in July after its Japanese owner, Shoei Kisen, signed a settlement agreement with the SCA.
According to Rabie, 61 vessels passed through the Suez Canal from both directions on Thursday with a total net load of 3.2 million tons.
In May, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi approved a plan by the SCA to widen and deepen 40 kilometres of the international waterway, including the part that witnessed the Ever Given crisis in March.