Tankers Collide in the Suez Canal, Sending One Aground

Tankers Collide in the Suez Canal, Sending One Aground

Ever since the Ever Given ran aground in the Suez Canal in March 2021 and blocked the vital waterway for six days, there has been a heightened awareness of incidents in the canal. Three ships have run aground so far this year, and now a fourth has been added to the total. Two tankers had a low-speed collision in the canal yesterday, sending one of the ships aground. Thankfully, it only took six hours to refloat the tanker instead of six days.

Reuters reported that the BW Lesmes, a liquified natural gas (LNG) tanker, came to a sudden stop after suffering a technical failure. At the same time, a strong current pulled the oil tanker Burri toward the stranded LNG tanker. The two ships then made light contact, which sent the Lesmes aground according to the Suez Canal Authority.

The Lesmes was successfully refloated six hours later at 3:30am local time. Tugboats from the canal authorities towed both boats out of the waterway. BW Group, the Lesmes’ operator, has stated that the ship is structurally sound and its operational capabilities weren’t affected by the collision. The Burri had a steering failure and will remain in the Suez anchorage until it’s repaired.

The incident took place at the same portion of the Suez Canal where the Ever Given ran aground. The canal was closed to traffic during the rescue efforts. Reopening the waterway quickly is always the number one priority for Egypt’s government and the world’s economy. The waterway handles over ten per cent of the world’s maritime traffic and generates $8 billion in toll revenue.

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