The Ever Given container ship has been partially refloated after being stranded in the Suez Canal for almost a week, authorities say, following an around-the-clock international effort to dislodge the massive vessel and reopen the global shipping lane. However, it may take some time to free it fully.
“The container ship began to float successfully after responding to the pulling manoeuvres,” said Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), in a phone interview with state TV. “Once the ship is withdrawn, we will resume navigation directly, and we will take it to the Bitter Lakes.”
Crews plan to refloat it later on Monday, the SCA confirmed, marking the end to a weeklong shipping crisis that dominated headlines and captured the world’s attention.
Video footage from the rescue operation show the stern, the back of the ship, dislodged from the bank and facing the canal after significant movement. The authorities will now keep the freed stern away from the bank as they work on pulling the front, or the bow, out.
The operation to free the rest of the ship will resume when the water level rises in the late morning, said the SCA in a statement.