The container ship stuck in the Suez Canal has “partially re-floated”, according to a canal services firm.
The massive ship, comparable in size to a sky-scraper, ran aground in the canal last Tuesday and has held up €7.6 billion in global trade daily.
Efforts to move the ship, with its bow stuck in the Suez Canal”s eastern bank, have so far failed to free it as a total of 367 vessels wait in the canal area.
But Leth Agencies said early on Monday that it was partially re-floated after efforts to push and pull the ship with 10 tugboats.
“This morning’s efforts and progression comes after a coordinated operation of tugs and dredgers,” the firm said in a statement. The plan was to expand drilling in the area where the bow is stuck.
“Removing the sides of the Canal in that area, and bring it to a depth of 18 metres, would facilitate the floatation of the ship,” the firm continued.
Lt. Gen. Osama Rabei, the head of the Suez Canal Authority, said workers continued “pulling manoeuvers” to re-float the vessel, according to AP.
Satellite data from MarineTraffic.com showed the ship in the same position, surrounded by tugboats with its bow stuck in the canal’s eastern bank.
Hundreds of vessels remain trapped in the Suez Canal carrying everything from crude oil to cattle.
More than two dozen vessels have chosen to take an alternative route between Asia and Europe, travelling around the Cape of Good Hope. The route adds two weeks to these vessels’ journeys.