A gaggle of tug boats freed a container ship on Monday that has been stuck in the Suez Canal for six days, appearing to dash the world’s dream that we would simply blow up the boat.
But don’t put away those sticks of dynamite just yet.
The chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Osama Rabie, reassured reporters after the 400 metre, 199,581 tonne Ever Given was dislodged from the banks of the canal that there was still a chance we might be left with no choice but to make the boat go boom. “We are not finished yet, but it has moved,” he said, appearing to caution anyone who hoped to see the ship explode that it could simply continue on, boringly.
Crews resumed efforts to unstick the Ever Given around 2am local time this morning, the Wall Street Journal reports. They hoped to make enough progress to free the vessel by 4pm, when the ship would be bolstered by high tides. After briefly getting stuck again due to high winds, the ship was eventually straightened out and able to continue its path of shame.
The Ever Given got supremely stuck in the east bank of the Suez Canal on March 23, blocking traffic that cost $US9 ($12) billion a day in global trade. After it became clear that digging the boat out simply wasn’t working, many people began offering their own solutions to get the boat moving. The best of these options was to simply blow up the boat, obviously, but the Suez Canal Authority abdicated its responsibility to really put on a show.
The container ship will now continue its trek up the 193 km Suez Canal and into the open waters of the Mediterranean. It could still get stuck again in the canal, which would be bad — there are live animals on some of the boats that got held up by the Ever Given, and the people taking care of them are reportedly running out of supplies — and also hilarious.
According to data provided by Marine Traffic, it will then travel west, eventually entering the Strait of Gibraltar, a relatively narrow channel that connects the Mediterranian to the Atlantic ocean. Unfortunately, it’s not narrow enough for the Ever Given to likely find itself stuck again — giving us another shot at blowing it up. Finally, the ship will land in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and who knows what kind of pickle it could get into there.