Tugboat Fahd as recovered in Suez Canal on Tuesday. Photo : Suez Canal Authority
In a press release issued on Tuesday evening, Chairman of the SCA Osama Rabie announced the success of an operation to recover the 'Fahd', using the crane 'Inkaz' and clearing the navigational route of the canal.
On Sunday, one crewmember was killed and six others were rescued after their tugboat ‘Fahd’ sank following a collision with the LPG tanker China Gas Legend in the Suez Canal, around the 51-kilometre point in the Al-Balah bypass.
The chairman of the SCA praised the maritime rescue team and all those involved for their collective efforts in efficiently executing the maritime rescue operation within record time and without disrupting the canal's navigation.
The team managed to salvage the sunken boat despite challenges faced by the rescue team, including strong water currents, limited underwater visibility, and deep diving at depths of up to 27 metres, the statement said.
Rabie elaborated on the procedures involved in raising and recovering 'Fahd', adding that the process began with a thorough survey of the collision area to pinpoint the location of the submerged vessel.
The site was subsequently blocked off with warning and guidance buoys to facilitate safe passage for passing vessels.
Environmental safeguards were also put in place to prevent potential oil spills during the salvage of the 1976-made tugboat.
Over the past two days, a total of 146 vessels transited the canal, carrying a combined net tonnage of 8.4 million tons.