Tugs trying to refloat ship grounded in Egypt’s Suez Canal


CAIRO (Reuters) -Tugboats are trying to refloat a large ship that has run aground in the Suez Canal, shipping agent Leth Agencies said early on Thursday, reviving concerns about a disruption to global trade in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

Leth identified the ship as the 190 metre (623 foot) Xin Hai Tong 23, a bulk carrier.

There was no immediate comment from Canal authorities.

“M/V XIN HAI TONG 23 has grounded in the Suez Canal at KM 159/0400 hrs,” Leth Agencies said in a tweet, adding it was “leaving behind 4 vessels from the early convoy in addition to the ordinary group which was planned to enter Suez Canal at about 0600 hrs.”

The Marine Traffic ship tracker and Refinitiv Eikon data showed the ship, which sails under the Hong Kong flag, as “not under command” several kilometres from the southern end of the canal. It was initially positioned at an angle abutting the canal’s eastern side.

The ship appeared to have been moved towards the centre of the canal and pointing South at 7:55 a.m. local time, but was not yet underway.

The tracker showed three Egyptian tugboats surrounding the vessel.

The ship had originated from Dhuba port in Saudi Arabia. It is owned by Xiang B12 HK International Ship Lease and managed by Tosco Keymax International Ship Management.

During strong winds in 2021, a huge container ship, the Ever Given, became jammed across Suez Canal, halting traffic in both directions for six days and disrupting global trade.

Last year, tug boats refloated an oil tanker that was briefly stranded in the canal after to a technical fault with its rudder, while the breakdown of a container ship in the canal caused minor delays in March.

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