Suez traffic returned to normal after the ship was briefly stranded

CAIRO, May 25 (Reuters) – Tugboats rescued a large ship that had been stranded for hours in the Suez Canal on Thursday, and shipping through one of the world’s busiest waterways was back to normal, sources said.

Two canal sources said traffic had returned to normal at 11:00 a.m. local time (0800 GMT), about six hours after the incident and three and a half hours after the ship refloated.

Shipping agent Leth Agencies identified the 190-meter (623-foot) Xin Hai Tong 23 as a bulk carrier.

“The Suez Canal Authority has successfully recovered M/V XIN HAI TONG 23 at 0740 hours (0440 GMT). The northbound convoy will enter at 0930 hours,” it said in a tweet.

In a statement, canal officials said they were informed of the engine failure and dispatched tugboats to successfully retrieve the vessel. The process was slightly delayed due to malfunction of the ship’s winch, they added.

Canal officials said shipping would return to normal in both directions once the dredging is completed as a precautionary measure.

Leth had previously tweeted that the ship had disrupted the convoys of at least two ships.

Refinitiv Eikon shipping data showed the Hong Kong-flagged vessel “not under command” near the southern end of the channel. It was initially positioned at an angle along the eastern side of the canal, but was later moved towards the center and pointed south. Around it are three Egyptian tugboats.

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The vessel hailed from Dubai port in Saudi Arabia. It is owned by Xiang B12 HK International Ship Charter and managed by Tosco Keymax International Shipping Management.

A 190-meter ship ran aground in Egypt’s Suez Canal on Thursday, rekindling concerns about disruption to global trade along one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

Approximately 12% of world trade goes through the canal. During strong winds in 2021, the huge container ship Ever Given ran aground across it, halting traffic in both directions for six days and disrupting global trade.

Last year, tugboats refloated an oil tanker that was briefly grounded in the canal due to a technical fault with its rudder, while a container ship broke down in the canal causing minor delays in March.

Report by Hadem Maher and Ahmad Dolba; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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