Ever Given Grounding: The Latest from the Ship Manager – Updated

Post Date: 26/03/2021

The technical manager of the MV Ever Given, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), has provided its latest update in the ongoing effort to refloat the ship from the southern end of the Suez Canal.

The ship, one of the biggest containerships in the world, ran aground around 7 a.m. local time near kilometer-marker 151 on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. The canal has been blocked to ship traffic ever since. SMIT Salvage is the appointed salvor.

Here are some of the highlights from the latest update:

March 26 Update:

  • “Another attempt to re-float the vessel earlier today, 26 March 2021, was not successful. Smit Salvage team on board confirm there will be two additional tugs of 220 – 240 T bollard pull arriving by 28 March 2021 to assist in the re-floating of the ship.”

  • “The focus is now on dredging to remove sand and mud from around the port side of the vessel’s bow. A specialised suction dredger, which can shift 2,000 cubic meters of material every hour, arrived on site on 25 March 2021 to support the ongoing dredging operations.”

  • “Arrangements are also being made for high-capacity pumps to reduce the water levels in the forward void space of the vessel and the bow thruster room.” Editor’s Note: We reached out to BSM and they have confirmed some water ingress i.e. flooding, limited to those spaces.

  • No pollution or cargo damage reported at this time.

March 25 Update:

A team of expert salvors from Smit Salvage have been appointed and are now at the vessel, with salvage operations being coordinated by the Suez Canal Authority, according to BSM.

“The focus now is on dredging to remove sand and mud from around the port side of the vessel’s bow. In addition to the dredgers already on site a specialised suction dredger is now with the vessel and will shortly begin work. This dredger can shift 2,000 cubic meters of material every hour,” the company informs.

At the time of the incident, Ever Given was transiting northbound through the canal en route to Rotterdam, Netherlands with two canal pilots onboard.

BSM reports that Initial investigations still suggest the vessel grounded due to strong wind. So far, there have been no reports of pollution or cargo damage and initial investigations have ruled out any mechanical or engine failure as a cause of the grounding.

All 25 crew – all Indian nationals, are safe and accounted for and remain onboard.

“The crew are working closely with all parties involved to re-float the vessel. The hard work and tireless professionalism of the Master and crew is greatly appreciated,” BSM said.

“BSM’s continuing priorities are to safely re-float the vessel and for marine traffic in the Suez Canal to resume.

“BSM is grateful for the continued efforts of the Suez Canal Authority and those involved in ongoing re-floating operations and BSM will continue to work closely with all parties involved in this operation.

“Once re-floated, the vessel will undergo a full inspection and BSM will cooperate fully with the authorities in any investigations.”

The Japanese shipowner, Shoei Kisen, has meanwhile apologized for the incident and said work towards freeing the ship “has been extremely difficult.”

Courtesy: Mike Schuler