Suez Canal tugboats refloated container ship after breakdown: Authority

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A container ship that broke down in Egypt’s Suez Canal leading to the diversion of some traffic has been refloated and resumed its course, the canal’s authority said on Sunday.

The container ship, MSC ISTANBUL, was sailing under Liberia’s flag, and started its course from Malaysia heading to Portugal when it got stuck in the canal, the head of the authority Ossama Rabei said in an earlier statement.

Four tugboats were working on moving the stranded container ship. Rabei had added that a fifth tugboat was on its way to participate in the re-floating process. He stressed that traffic in the key waterway was unaffected by the MSC ISTANBUL “emergency situation”.

The official had said earlier that “all ships coming from the north continued their normal course of transit, and traffic from the south proceeded normally after diverting ships to transit through the eastern channel instead of the western one.”

The Suez Canal is the fastest and most direct maritime shipping line linking Europe and Asia. It’s also the one of the key sources of foreign currency for Egypt’s government.

In 2021, one of the largest container ships in the world got stuck in the canal and blocked traffic through the waterway for a week, disrupting global shipping traffic and disturbing international maritime trade.

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