Earlier this week, the giant cargo vessel, Ever Given, stuck in the Suez Canal made its move after blocking the way of the international trade route for almost a week. The incident triggered several memes and news pieces on how difficult it would be if the ship did not make its move fast enough, affecting the international trade that has already been suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, after a dedicated salvage team of Egyptians worked for six days and nights, the vessel finally started floating. That gave way to the traffic of numerous ships waiting for the crucial canal to open. To show how the situation looked like from a satellite’s view, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shared a series of images on its social media on Tuesday. The American space agency shared the satellite images of the Suez Canal and Gulf of Suez and wrote that hundreds of ships were left idling around the Suez Canal as engineers got together to plan out methods to dislodge the grounded vessel blocking the key shipping route in Egypt.
The images were captured by the Landsat 8 satellite that showed a queue of ships on March 27, 2021 lined up outside the Suez Canal awaiting Ever Given’s movement.
Hundreds of ships were left idling around the Suez Canal as engineers worked to dislodge a grounded vessel blocking the key shipping route in Egypt. The Landsat 8 satellite captured this image of the queue of ships on March 27, 2021. https://t.co/vOYCt8g7qS #suezcanal pic.twitter.com/THVN30kf0f— NASA Earth (@NASAEarth) March 29, 2021
Explaining how the massive cargo ship that ran aground at the Suez Canal was finally freed, NASA explained in its article that the engineers were aided by a natural process called high spring tide, in their efforts to dislodge the massive ship with the help of tugboats, dredging equipmentand backhoes.
A spring tide occurs when tides "spring forth" during new and full moons, that is when the Earth, Sun, and Moon are in complete alignment. The tides in the Suez Canal rose about 46 centimeters (18 inches) above normal on March 29, 2021 that proved crucial in floating back the Ever Given vessel. As the ship started floating earlier on Monday, it made its way north into the Great Bitter Lake which is a wider part of the Suez Canal system.