A CONTAINER ship reportedly ran aground on the Suez Canal today blocking boats from entering it for the second time this year.
Local media reported that the cargo vessel became stuck 33 miles into the canal in Egypt sparking a rescue effort earlier today.
The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) was forced to temporarily delay all ships in the region from entering.
The Panama-registered vessel, Coral Crystal, was headed to Port Sudan when it ran aground.
Sky News Arabia reported that the ship was successfully refloated a short time later and the Suez Canal was reopened.
The blockage happened in the western part of the Ballah bypass – one of the waterway’s two-lane sections.
The SCA said the incident was “handled with the utmost professionalism” and not much traffic was affected, The National reported.
The vessel was reportedly carrying 43,000 tonnes of cargo when it came to a halt.
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It comes months after the Ever Given mega-ship blocked the canal for six days causing a global meltdown in shipping.
In March, disaster struck when the 400m-long Ever Given became wedged in the shipping lane due to extreme weather conditions holding up £6.5billion a day in global trade.
Rescue crews freed the vessel using tug boats and digging, even as analysts warned the monster vessel may be too heavy for such an operation.
Eleven tugboats were helped by several diggers which vacuumed up sand underneath at high tide brought on by a “supermoon” – a full moon which raises the water level due to its gravitational pull on the earth, canal services firm Leth Agencies said.
About 15 per cent of world shipping traffic transits the Suez Canal – around 19,000 ships last year – which is a key source of foreign currency revenue for Egypt.
At least 369 vessels were waiting to transit the canal, including dozens of container ships, bulk carriers and oil and gas tankers.
Some ships had decided to reroute their cargoes around the Cape of Good Hope, adding about two weeks to journeys and extra fuel costs.
Crude oil prices fell after news the ship had been refloated with Brent crude down by $1 per barrel to $63.67.
High winds are understood to have blown the boat, which was en route to the Netherlands from China, across the narrow canal that runs between Africa and the Sinai Peninsula.
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