Suez Canal Authority shares of photos showing the navigation resumed normally in the canal on Wednesday. Photo Courtesy of SCA.
The incident occurred after liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier BW Lesmes stopped suddenly at the 144 km point, SCA Chairman Ossama Rabie said.
The stop was caused by a technical failure that led to the loss of steering, Rabie added.
The strong current in the canal at the time caused the oil tanker Burri to make “slight” contact with the broken-down LNG carrier, he explained.
The SCA dispatched tugboats to move both ships.
The BW Lesmes has been successfully towed outside the waterway, while towing of the Burri is still underway, Rabie said.
The SCA chairman stressed that there was no significant damage or pollution caused by the collision.
For their part, BW LNG AS, operators of BW Lesmes, offered a slightly different chain of events.
They said their vessel ran aground while headed southbound at 9:35pm on Tuesday.
The BW Lesmes was successfully re-floated at 3:30am on Wednesday and was sent for further inspection at Suez, at the canal’s southern terminus, BW Group said in a statement reported by Reuters.
The Suez Canal is one of the world’s most heavily used shipping lanes as it is the shortest maritime route to Asia from Europe.
Around 12 percent of the world’s trade passes through the canal, which is one of Egypt’s main sources of foreign currency.