Suez Canal Could be Blocked for Weeks by 'Beached Whale' Ship

A huge container ship blocking the Suez Canal like a “beached whale” may take weeks to free, the salvage company said, as officials stopped all ships entering the channel on Thursday in a new setback for global trade, Reuters reported. The 400 metre (430 yard) Ever Given, almost as long as the Empire State Building is high, is blocking transit in both directions through one of the world’s busiest shipping channels for oil and grain and other trade linking Asia and Europe. The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said nine tugs were working to move the vessel, which got stuck diagonally across the single-lane southern stretch of the canal on Tuesday morning amid high winds and a dust storm. “We can’t exclude it might take weeks, depending on the situation,” Peter Berdowski, CEO of Dutch company Boskalis, one of two rescue teams trying to free the ship, told the Dutch television programme “Nieuwsuur.” A total of 206 large container ships, tankers carrying oil and gas, and bulk vessels hauling grain have backed up at either end of the canal, according to tracking data, creating one of the worst shipping jams seen for years. Read more.