Suez Canal Block: New satellite images show growing traffic at canal, massive rescue efforts

1 month ago 16

New satellite images from the Suez Canal area, along with ship tracking data broadcasted by other vessels, present a detailed look at the massive maritime traffic jam at one of the world’s busiest waterways.

Efforts are in full swing to free the grounded Ever Given container ship stuck in Suez Canal for several days, costing millions across the world.

The Suez Canal authorities on Saturday said that they have managed to move the stern and the rudder of the ship, however, there was no clarity on when the container will be cleared out of the canal.

Space firm, Maxar Technologies, released high resolution satellite images giving a detailed view of the multipronged efforts to clear the waterway. The images show efforts of underwater excavation as well as deployment of earth moving equipment near the container in Suez Canal.

Another set of images show more than 120 ships anchored in the waters, south of the canal. These ships have been unable to transit due to the blockage.

Ships stuck in Gulf of Suez. Satellite image: Maxar Technologies

Ships waiting for Suez Canal. Satellite image: Maxar Technologies.

The continuing efforts by the authorities include a combination of dredging operation in the water, deployment of tugboats as well as sand excavation on the ground.

Dredging operation near Ever Given. Satellite image: Maxar Technologies

Earthmoving equipment near the bow of the stuck ship were used to excavate sand around the bow of the ship.

Ground excavation near the bow of the ship. Satellite image: Maxar Technologies

Ground excavation near the stranded ship. Satellite image: Maxar Technologies

As the efforts to clear the Suez Canal continues, the ship operators are considering an alternate route via Cape of Good Hope, which is likely to extend travel time by an additional one to three weeks.

Data compiled from open-source ship tracking service MarineTraffic shows the effect Ever Given blockage has had on the overall movements of vessels near the Canal.

According to a Reuters report, “321 vessels were waiting to enter or continue their transit through the canal. Those included dozens of container ships, bulk carriers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels.”

Heavier tugboats are likely to be deployed at the Suez over the weekend in order to speed up the operations.