The ultra-large ship Ever Given that has been blocking the Suez Canal for six days has swung back across the channel amid high wind on Monday, after being partially refloated.

The ship’s bow was afloat in the water despite its change of position and the vessel had not become regrounded.

The numerous efforts of over 10 tugboats, however, finally led to the successful release of the ultra-large container ship Ever Given at 13:10 UTC today. She is currently moving north at a 3 knots speed and it is growing. 

Helped by the peak of high tide, the flotilla of tugboats managed to wrench the bow of the stranded Ever Given from the canal’s sandy bank, where it had been firmly lodged since last Tuesday.

After hauling the fully laden 220,000-ton vessel over the canal bank, the salvage team was pulling the vessel toward the Great Bitter Lake, a wide stretch of water halfway between the north and south end of the canal, where the ship will undergo technical inspection, canal authorities said.


Ever Given is Finally Free and under way

It remained unclear when traffic through the canal would return to normal. At least 450 vessels, carrying everything from crude oil to cattle, have piled up on either end of the canal, waiting to pass.

Data firm Refinitiv estimated it could take more than 10 days to clear the backlog of ships. Meanwhile, dozens of vessels have opted for the alternate route around the Cape of Good Hope at Africa’s southern tip – a detour that adds some two weeks to journeys and costs ships hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel and other costs.

Earlier on Monday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi hailed the “success” of an operation to unwedge the giant Ever Given container ship, stuck in the Suez Canal for nearly a week. 

“Today, Egyptians have been successful in putting to an end the crisis of the stranded ship in the Suez Canal, despite the enormous complexity surrounding the process,” Sisi wrote on Twitter.

Oil prices remained volatile, however, amid concerns to the time it may take to clear the almost 500 ship backlog and expectations that OPEC members will hold their production cut agreement in place following their monthly meeting in Vienna later this week.

The unprecedented shutdown had threatened to disrupt oil and gas shipments to Europe from the Middle East and raised fears of extended delays, goods shortages and rising costs for consumers.

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