Maersk Containership Ran Aground in Suez Canal
A Maersk Line container vessel, number 13 in a southbound convoy of 33 vessels, in the Suez Canal, ran aground at kilometer 133 on July 5 at 3:30 PM local time.
The grounding caused some of the vessels in the convoy to be detained until the Maersk ship was refloated, which occurred around midnight local time. The ship was towed by Suez Canal tugs to the Suez outer anchorage located outside the canal.
The containership in question was the 10,000-TEU Maersk Shams, which was built in 2015.
The Shams incident follows a similar episode which occurred a little over two months ago when the MSC Fabiola also ran aground in the Suez Canal. The 12,500-TEU Fabiola was part of a 20-vessel convoy when it ran aground on the afternoon April 28 at kilometer 144 after experiencing engine trouble. The containership was refloated early the following morning and successfully resumed its southbound transit to Suez escorted by five tugs, eventually exiting the canal waters.
The Fabiola incident forced canal officials to suspend all northbound convoys and stop all southbound convoys at Great Bitter Lakes until the ship was refloated.
The Portuguese-flagged MSC Fabiola is chartered by Mediterranean Shipping Company and operated by the German company Peter Döhle Schiffahrts-KG.
The government of Egypt inaugurated what it called “the new Suez Canal” last August. The new canal, which in reality is a parallel channel alongside a 43-mile stretch of the existing waterway, also includes two service channels and two cross channels which connect the existing and the new canals.