MANCHESTER RUGOLA, Egypt – A market container ship that has disrupted world trade by stopping at the Suez Canal has been on a dusty brick house in Umm Gaafar for five days, silencing its deep mechanical noise.
He looked down as he sat on the rugged dirt line, wondering what the Ever-given vessel could carry in all those containers. Flat-screen TVs Full fridges, washing machines or ceiling fans Neither he nor his neighbors in the 5,000-year-old village of Manchiet Rugola had anyone at home.
“Why don’t they pull out one of those containers?” 65-year-old Um Gaafar joked. “It simply came to our notice then. “Maybe it can feed the city.”
More than 300 cargo ships now waiting for the Suez Canal, one of the world’s most powerful cargo arteries, the Japanese Ever Given’s Ever Given can deliver Manshiyet Rugola many times over.
Cars, oil, livestock, portable systems, jet fuel, scrap metal, grain, sweaters, sneakers, equipment, toilet paper, toys, medical equipment և much more, ships were to supply most of the world, and the canal was to be Their fastest route is from Asia, the Middle East to Europe, and the east coast of the United States.
Authorities in the Al-Canal reported on Saturday that divers had managed to excavate the ship on Friday evening, freeing its rudder, and that on Saturday afternoon they had sown 18 meters of ground on the east bank of the canal, where the ship’s bow was firmly attached. But after the rescue team once again failed to pull the four-legged leviathan out of the sand bank where it collided on Tuesday, blocking all canal freight traffic, global supply chains came to a complete crisis.
Shipping analysts estimate that the massive traffic jam cost nearly $ 10 billion a day.
“Worldwide retail is moving in containers, or 90% of it,” said Alan Murphy, founder of Sea-Intelligence, a marine data analytics firm. “It simply came to our notice then. Name any brand և they will stay on one of those vessels. ”
Closing the strait depends on the rescuers’ ability to clear the sand, mud, and rock when the Ever is stuck, to lighten the ship’s cargo so that it can float again, while the trucks try to push and pull it freely. Their best chance could be reached on Monday, when a spring wave will raise the canal’s water level by up to 18 inches, say analysts and shipping agents.
The company that oversees the ship’s operation and crew, the Bernhard Schulte Shipnay Management, said it was assisting 11 cargo ships, two of them on Sunday. According to the company, several unloading devices were dug around the bow of the ship, including a specialized suction garbage truck, which can produce 2000 cubic meters of material per hour.
From the deck of the luxury boat, where the Egyptian authorities allowed reporters to take a look at the rescue operation on Saturday evening, several boats were visible, barely halfway to the side of the ship, facing the ship to keep it stable. The collectors and heavy equipment were standing under the lights next to the bow of the ship.
The powerful tugboat landed near the hull, waiting for the next attempt at resettlement. But a high wave, which was forecast at 22 in the evening. Shortly after 30, he came and went without progress.
Most of the work, however, was invisible. A team of eight Dutch rescue specialists, naval architects, will monitor the ship, the seabed and create a computer model that will help it work around the ship without damaging it, said Captain Nick Sloan, a South African rescue worker. who led the direct operation of the Costa Concordia, a cruise ship that capsized off the coast of Italy in 2012.
They have to clear other ships from the area, a great coordination effort. And they have to take into account the possibility that Ever Given’s rationale redistributed the seabed, making it difficult for other ships to cross the area even after moving, said Captain Paul Foran, a marine consultant who worked on it. other rescue operations.
They always hope that the “When” will be inviolable. Hanging in the middle of the ship, the bow and stern were caught in positions not intended for them, the hull is vulnerable to stress and cracks, say the two experts.
Mohamed Moselhi, owner of First Suez International, a maritime logistics company, says divers are already inspecting the body and have not found any damage. But in many other ways, Ever Given obeyed Murphy’s Law. Everything that could be wrong was done, from the size of the ship to the largest in the world.
“It was the largest ship in the motorcade, it was in the worst part of the canal,” says Sloan. “And it was just painful.”
If tow trucks, drains երը pumps fail to complete the work, they can be joined by special vessels գլխավոր the main rotating mass of machines, which may require hundreds of workers. Small trucks to siphon the ship’s fuel. the tallest cranes in the world, which unload some of its containers one by one; If no crane is high enough or close enough, heavy helicopters can carry up to 20 tons of containers, although no one has said where the cargo will be transported. (A 40-foot full container can weigh up to 40 tons).
The head of the Suez Canal Department, Lieutenant General Osama Rabin, told a news conference on Saturday that while he hoped “we will not reach that stage”, authorities would call in cranes to transport some containers.
Although the canal management և analysts were optimistic that the canal would be cleaned this weekend, Sloan estimated that the operation would take at least a week. When the same size ship, the CSCL Indian Indian, collided near the port of Hamburg in 2016, it took about six days to clear the Elbe River.
All this because, to put it simply. “This is a very big ship. “This is a big deal,” said Richard Mead, editor-in-chief of Lloyd’s List in London. “I do not think there is a question that they have received everything they need. It’s just a question, it’s a very big problem. “
If the ship is released by Monday, the cargo industry could absorb the inconvenience, analysts say, but beyond that supply chains and consumers could start to suffer major setbacks.
Some ships have already decided not to wait to leave Suez for a long voyage to the southern tip of Africa, a voyage that could add weeks to the voyage և more than $ 26,000 a day in fuel costs.
On Saturday, Rabin broke the canal safety record. In 2020, 18,840 ships, zero accidents.
“What happened is happening all over the world, it will happen again,” he said. “The Suez Canal, as a crossing, has nothing to do with the incident.”
At Manshiyet Rugola, which translates as “Little Village of Mankind”, traffic jams will be hard to imagine at any time.
The donkey carts, clustered with clover, lined the half-paved lines through the low brick houses, the green adventures, which were shrouded in palm trees, rubbish, and the barking of animals. A teenager was making ice cream from his motorcycle. The roosters offered indecent competition for the midday prayer. Before the advent of Ever Given, the minarets of loose mosques were the tallest structures in the area.
“Do you want to see the ship?” A young man asked a pair of visiting reporters, trembling with excitement under the window of their car.
Many people woke up at 7 am on Tuesday when an earthquake-like shipwreck shook many, “Ever given” was the only topic in town.
“The whole village was watching,” said Yusef Ree Arieb, a 19-year-old factory worker. “We are so used to being surrounded by him, because we have been living on the roofs for four days, just looking at the ship.”
It was generally agreed that the view was better at night when the ship was shining in the light. A skyscraper lay right outside the big city skyline.
“When the light comes on at night, it’s like the Titanic,” said Nadia, who, like her neighbor Um Gaafar, refused to give her name because of security forces in the area. “All that is missing is a movie necklace.”
Gaafar was asked to go by his nickname so as not to upset the security guards of the previous government, warning residents to take photos of the canal և, generally spreading anxiety. Nadia said she was very scared to paint the ship at night, even though she really wanted to.
Villagers and freight analysts had the same question about Ever if they were based on different expertise. The ship’s crew claims that the ship collided with a strong sandstorm, the stacked containers acted as a giant sail, but the other ships in the same row passed without incident. The villagers mentioned that they also had old ships during the previous storms.
“We have seen worse winds,” said Ahmad al-Sayed, a 19-year-old security guard, “but this has never happened before.”
The two pilots from the Suez Canal usually board large ships passing through the canal to guide them, although they are led by a crew member, says Foran, a marine consultant.
Freight experts and government officials say wind could be a factor in exacerbating other physical forces, but they suggested human error could play a role.
“Such a significant incident usually happens for many reasons. “The weather was one, but maybe there was a technical error or a human error,” Rabin said on Saturday.
Foran had the same idea.
“I’m questioning why he was the only one on the ground.” he said. “But they can talk about it later. “Right now, they just have to get that beast out of the canal.”