CAIRO, May 25 (Reuters) – Tugboats refloated a large vessel that had been stranded for hours in the Suez Canal, shipping agent Leth Agencies said on Thursday, allowing flow through one of the world’s busiest waterways to return to normal.
Leth identified the vessel as the 190 meter (623 ft) Xin Hai Tong 23.
“The Suez Canal Authority has successfully recovered M/V XIN HAI TONG 23 at 0740 hours (0440 GMT). The northbound convoy will enter at 0930 hours,” Leth Agencies said in a tweet.
In a statement, canal officials said they were informed of the engine failure and dispatched tugboats to successfully recover the vessel. They added that the process was slightly delayed due to the failure of the ship’s winch.
As a precautionary measure, the commission confirmed that once the dredging process is over, vessel operations will return to normal in both directions.
Leth had previously tweeted that the ship grounded at 4 a.m. local time, disrupting the convoys of at least two ships.
Refinitiv Eikon shipping data showed the Hong Kong-flagged ship “not under command” near the southern end of the canal. It was initially positioned at an angle along the eastern side of the canal, but was moved towards the center of the ship and pointed south.
The watchers showed three Egyptian tugboats around the ship.
The vessel hailed from Dubai port in Saudi Arabia. It is owned by Xiang B12 HK International Ship Charter and managed by Tosco Keymax International Shipping Management.
Approximately 12% of the world’s trade moves through the Suez Canal, the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
During high winds in 2021, the huge container ship Ever Given got stuck across the Suez Canal, halting traffic in both directions for six days and disrupting global trade.
Last year, tugboats refloated an oil tanker that was briefly grounded in the canal due to a technical fault with its rudder, while a container ship broke down in the canal causing minor delays in March.
Report by Hadem Maher and Ahmad Dolba; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman
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