Officials: Stranded ship refloated in Egypt’s Suez Canal

CAIRO (AP) — The Suez Canal Authority said a freighter carrying corn that ran aground early Monday in the Egyptian waterway has been refloated and traffic on the canal has been restored.

Admiral Ossama Rabei, chief authority, said the Marshall Islands-flagged MV Glory suffered a technical breakdown and the channel deployed four tugs to help refloat it. He said the vessel was being pulled to a nearby marine park to resolve the issue.

Rabei did not specify the nature of the technical failure. Parts of Egypt, including its northern provinces, experienced a wave of bad weather on Sunday.

Rabei said in a statement that traffic in the canal had resumed after the ship was refloated and that 51 vessels were expected to cross the waterway on Monday.

Marwa Maher, media officer with the Canal Authority, said the vessel ran aground around 5am local time and was refloated five hours later.

Canal services company Leth Agencies said the Glory ran aground near the town of Qantara in Ismailia province on the Suez Canal. Satellite tracking data analyzed by The Associated Press showed the Glory running aground in a single-track stretch of the Suez Canal just south of Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea.

Leth Agencies then released a chart suggesting the Glory, which is owned by Greek company Primera Shipping Inc., was against the western bank of the canal, pointing south and not stuck through the canal.

It was not the first ship to run aground in the crucial waterway. The Ever Given, Panamanian flag, colossal container ship, crashed into a bank on a single-track section of the canal in March 2021, blocking the waterway for six days.

The Ever Given was freed in a giant salvage operation by a flotilla of tugboats. The lockdown created a massive gridlock that tied up $9 billion a day in global trade and strained supply chains already strained by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ever Given debacle prompted Egyptian authorities to begin widening and deepening the southern part of the waterway where the ship hit the ground.

In August, the Singapore-flagged tanker Affinity V ran aground in a single-track section of the canal, blocking the waterway for five hours before it was released.

The Joint Coordination Center said the Glory was carrying more than 65,000 metric tons of corn from Ukraine to China.

The Glory was inspected by the Joint Coordination Center off Istanbul on 3 January. The center includes Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian and United Nations personnel.

Opened in 1869, the Suez Canal is a crucial link for oil, natural gas and freight. It also remains one of Egypt’s main foreign currency earners. In 2015, the government of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi completed a major expansion of the canal, allowing it to accommodate the largest ships in the world.

Built in 2005, the Glory is 225 meters (738 ft) long and 32 meters (105 ft) wide.

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Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed.

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