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Suez Canal Unblocked after a Week as Ever Given Floats Again but Twitter Wants to 'Put it Back'

The Suez Canal has finally moved | Image credit: Reuters/Twitter

The Suez Canal has finally moved | Image credit: Reuters/Twitter

Shipping was on the move again late on Monday in Egypt’s Suez Canal after tugs refloated the giant container ship which had been blocking the channel for almost a week.

After being stuck for nearly a week, the giant container ship Ever Given that was jammed across the Suez Canal finally started moving on Sunday. The vessel was partially refloated and swung back across the channel amid high wind on Monday ahead of the next attempt to fully dislodge it.

The Ever Given had become jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal, the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia, in high winds early on March 23.

Early Monday morning, rescue workers from the Suez Canal Authority who were working with a team of workers from the the Dutch company Smit Salvage managed to partially refloat the ship and straighten it in the canal. It took several hours of work after which the ship shifted back across the canal for a brief instance before it was finally maneuvered free via tugging, thanks to the changing tide.

With the 400-metre-long (430-yard) Ever Given dislodged, 113 ships were expected to transit the canal in both directions by early Tuesday morning, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chairman Osama Rabie told reporters.

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He said a backlog of 422 ships could be cleared in 3 and a half days.

While the blocking of the Suez Canal had caused oil prices to rise, news of the ship’s movement caused oil prices to drop. But even as the world celebrated the moving of the ship, Twitter was not as kind.

No sooner had the ship started to move, Twitter was filled with all manners of memes. After a week of the drama, many on Twitter said that they wanted the ship to be put right back where it was.b “THERE WAS SOMETHING DEEPLY COMFORTING ABOUT THE BOAT BEING STUCK AND I WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF THEY COULD PUT IT BACK,” one user wrote. “Put it back, put it back,” wrote another. #SuexUnblocked soon became one of the top global trends on Twitter.

Shipping was, nevertheless, on the move again late on Monday in Egypt’s Suez Canal after tugs refloated the giant container ship which had been blocking the channel for almost a week, causing a huge build-up of vessels around the waterway.

(With inputs from Reuters)

first published:March 30, 2021, 16:00 IST