Six days after a massive cargo ship ran aground in the Suez Canal and drove traffic to a standstill in one of the world's most important waterways, authorities reported the vessel was partially afloat.
Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, announced early Monday, that the stern of the Ever Given container ship had been moved 102 meters from shore; it had been just 4 feet from land.
A team of tugboats pushed and pulled the ship from the edge of the canal. Their work will resume 11:30 AM local time when water levels are expected to rise to their highest point. That would allow the salvage crews to move the Ever Given to the middle of the shipping lane, officials said.
Rabie said shipping traffic would not resume until the Ever Given was completely freed. It has been wedged at an angle, blocking all traffic, since Tuesday. At about 1,300 feet long and 200 feet wide, it is among the largest container ships currently in operation.
If crews can pry the Ever Given from its spot on the Suez Canal, global supply chains could avoid further stress and loss of money. A prolonged delay could increase the cost of shipping, complicate manufacturing and ultimately drive up prices, logistics experts previously told NPR.
The ship's owner, Japan-based Shoei Kisen Kaisha, Ltd., cautioned the Ever Given was not yet free. A company representative told NPR the tugs have managed to change the boat's direction, but it is not yet afloat.