Egyptian authorities have initiated arrest procedures against the vessel, according to Ever Given’s shipmanagers
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), shipmanagers of the ultra large container ship (ULCS) Ever Given, which grounded in March and tied up traffic on the global shipping artery for days, have said the 20,000-TEU vessel is now being held by Egypt’s state-run Suez Canal Authority (SCA).
Noting that the vessel had passed inspections and been declared seaworthy, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement said Ever Given would remain in place until further notice.
"BSM has been informed by the vessel’s owner that the SCA began arrest procedures against the vessel. Currently, the vessel remains anchored in Great Bitter Lake until an agreement between the SCA and the vessel’s owner has been reached," the shipmanager said.
BSM called the decision "extremely disappointing" given their co-operation with investigations into the cause of the incident that left Ever Given wedged diagonally across the canal and caused a backlog of hundreds of ships on both sides of the canal, with projected costs of the blockage running to billions of dollars per day for global trade and costing Egyptian coffers tens of millions of dollars from lost revenue and fees associated with the vessel’s rescue.
“From the outset, BSM and the crew on board have co-operated fully with all authorities, including the SCA and their respective investigations into the grounding. This included granting access to the voyage data recorder and other materials and data requested by the SCA. BSM’s primary goal is a swift resolution to this matter that will allow the vessel and crew to depart the Suez Canal,” BSM chief executive Ian Beveridge said.
BSM said initial investigations have ruled out mechanical and engine failure as the cause of the grounding. Speculation at the time of the incident implicated strong winds from a dust storm as part of the reason the vessel drifted off course, but Egyptian authorities later said human error could also be to blame. Local pilots are on board to guide each ship’s transit of the canal, and ships’ crews execute the navigational manoeuvres required to keep the vessel afloat. Hydrodynamics, too, are complicated as enormous vessels transit relatively narrow and shallow waterways such as the Suez Canal. See below for more coverage from the complex ship grounding that caught the world’s attention.
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