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The release of the container ship from the Suez Canal could capsize it
As the global shipping industry bleeds $ 400 million an hour, the massive container ship Ever Given gets stuck in the sand of the Suez Canal, and an elite salvage team on site in Egypt faces a completely different problem: How do you make a top-heavy ship? Ships stuck in changing sand weigh less without overturning it? “You need a full ocean floor and channel floor survey to determine how large the ground is,” said Nick Sloane, the salvage master who miraculously directed the removal of the Costa Concordia cruise ship off Giglio Island in 2014, told The Daily Beast. “The worst case scenario is that the ship is currently supported over its bow and stern area, which means possible sagging in the middle.” These deflections could cause the ship to split in two and spill fuel and cargo – including COVID-19 consumables like respirators and Chinese-made personal protective equipment – into the canal, making it temporarily impassable. “The risk is it could also get top heavy and capsize,” said Captain John Konrad, founder and CEO of the gCaptain shipping industry website. “And that would be catastrophic.” But before anyone could think of making the massive ship 1,312 feet long, 194 feet wide and 50 feet of the ship underwater, they would have to download the ship’s schematics and run them through a series of computer generated programs to determine how the unloading will affect the scale. Then they’d have to somehow bring a sea crane to Egypt, as the country doesn’t have one big enough to reach the top of Ever Given’s 20,000 containers. The information used to determine how to brighten up the 200,000 ton ship enough to propel it out of the sand that buries the ship a little more with each flood will be largely based on the ship’s own records – provided that they are correct and have not been corrupted, to happen what the Maritime Anti Corruption Network once called the most corrupt port system in the world. How this monster ship, roughly the size of the Empire State Building, got stuck in riprap or in the sandbanks of the canal is also up for debate. The ordeal has already become the subject of a number of memes and websites, with numerous parody Twitter accounts producing memes of the massive excavator that looks like a children’s toy next to the ship that is flaking off the sand on the bow of the Suez Canal, one of the world’s most important shipping lane, is reportedly blocked because someone accidentally got stuck on their giant container ship. The photo is unreal. pic.twitter.com/I2ACkBqPi2 – Marcel Dirsus (@marceldirsus) March 23, 2021 The ship sails under the Panamanian flag. This is a common way of circumventing human rights issues that are of great concern to the entire Indian crew who are now unable to get off the ship. It belongs to the Japanese company Shoei Kisen Kaisha, which apologized profusely for the inconvenience that was quite expensive. They say strong winds threw the ship into the sandbanks, but data shows that in the accident, according to Konrad, it was traveling 13 knots in a speed zone of 8 knots when the accident happened. Several Salvors have also said the most likely cause was a power outage that affected steering when the gust of wind came up. Coincidentally, the same ship was involved in an accident in Hamburg in 2019 when its owners rammed into a ferry and destroyed it. At that time, too, they attributed the accident to a loss of steering power and strong winds. According to Salvors, the next opportunity to move the ship will be during the spring floods on Sunday and Monday. If that doesn’t work, it can take weeks to dig out of the sand while trying to keep it upright and intact. Read more at The Daily Beast. Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now! Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside delves deeper into the stories that matter to you. Learn more.