Dutch multinational marine contractor Boskalis celebrated last night after the rescue of the grounded ship Ever Given from the Suez Canal by its subsidiary, SMIT Salvage.
Nearly half a kilometre long (400m) and 60m wide, the 20,000 TEU container ship had been wedged in this vital shipping route since 23 March, causing chaos in global trade.
Strong gusts blew the 224,000-ton ship off its course in the passage, causing its bow to become wedged in sand on the canal bank, blocking some $10bn worth of trade a day.
To refloat it, some 30,000 cubic meters of sand was dredged, while 11 harbour tugs and two, more-powerful seagoing tugs (Alp Guard and Carlo Magna) were deployed.
As a result of this effort, Ever Given saw freedom at 15:05hrs local time yesterday, 29 March, and was towed to a location outside the channel for further inspection.
Boskalis chief executive Peter Berdowski said SMIT Salvage got the call shortly after the ship got stuck.
"I’m extremely proud of the outstanding job done by the team on site as well as the many SMIT Salvage and Boskalis colleagues back home to complete this challenging operation under the watchful eye of the world," he said.
"The time pressure to complete this operation was evident and unprecedented and the result is a true display of our unique capabilities as a dredging and marine services provider."
Image: Satellite imagery shows dredging operations underway on 27 March to free the Ever Given container ship grounded in the Suez Canal (Maxar Technologies/CC BY 4.0)Â