The mammoth cargo ship blocking one of the world’s most vital maritime arteries was wrenched from the shoreline and set partially afloat again early Monday, raising hopes that traffic could soon resume in the Suez Canal and limit the economic fallout of the disruption.Salvage teams, working on both land and water for five days and nights, were ultimately assisted by forces more powerful than any machine rushed to the scene: the moon and the tides.
As water levels swelled overnight, the hours spent digging and excavating millions of tons of earth around the Ever Green paid off as the ship slowly regained buoyancy, according to officials.
While shipping officials and the Egyptian authorities cautioned that the complicated operation was still underway, they expressed increasing confidence the ship would soon be completely free.
The stern was now some 300 feet from shore, according to the Suez Canal Authority. While the ship was moving, what remained unclear was if the bulbous bow — a protrusion at the front of the ship just below the waterline — is totally clear of dirt and debris. If it is still stuck in clay or obstructed by rocks, the early morning optimism could quickly fade.
The next high tide will peak at 11:42 a.m. local time, and crews will continue maneuvers as the water rises, according to the authority.