Tanker refloated after briefly blocking Suez Canal

The Suez Canal was blocked for several hours after an oil tanker got stranded in the single-lane stretch of the canal — nearly the same spot where the Ever Given containership remained stuck for days in March 2021.

Courtesy of SCA
Courtesy of SCA

On late 31 August (local time), the Singapore-flagged Affinity V, which was sailing southbound, ran aground after suffering a technical failure with its rudder. This resulted in the temporary blockage of the waterway.

Immediately after the incident, a working group was formed by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) to refloat the 252.3-metre-long tanker.

The 125,000 cbm ship was succesfully refloated with assistance from tug boats, Osama Rabie, Chairman of the SCA, confirmed in the early morning hours of 1 September.

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At the time of the incident, the 2016-built Aframax tanker was en route from Malta to the Port of Yanbu in Saudi Arabia, according to data provided by VesselsValue.

The incident comes more than a year and a half after the 20,150 TEU containership Ever Given ran aground in the Suez Canal, blocking passage on both sides of the waterway and creating a massive logjam.

The incident resulted in the blockage of one of the most important trade arteries of the world, which accounts for 12% of global trade.

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