Ship blocking Suez Canal prompts flood of memes

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Acknowledging the global turmoil that the blockage, the ship's owner issued a formal apology.

"We are determined to keep on working hard to resolve this situation as soon as possible", Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd. said, adding "we would like to apologize".

Thirteen vessels that departed in a convoy on Wednesday from Port Said, at the Mediterranean entrance to the canal, dropped anchor in the Great Bitter Lake to wait out the operation to free the stricken vessel, according to Reuters. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to talk to journalists.

From there, more dredging will be needed before tug boats return and (hopefully) nudge the ship out of the hole it has driven in the sand.

Data from IHI Jet Service showed the situation along the Suez Canal just after Ever Given became lodged at 11:00 a.m. on March 23, left, and the backed up traffic by 4:00 a.m. on March 25, right. The photo was released by the Suez Canal Authority on Thursday.

Officials had indicated initially they didn't want to do that because the unloading itself could take days or weeks. He did not offer a time frame. "The ship is 15.7 meters deep", he said.

"It's really a heavy whale on the beach, so to speak", said Peter Berdowski, head of Dutch firm Smit Salvage which previously worked on the stranded Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia and the sunken Russian nuclear submarine Kursk.

According to Bloomberg, an "elite team" is getting ready to free the massive container vessel and dredgers are still trying to loosen the vessel before any attempt to pull it out. "You can forget it", he told the Dutch current affairs program "Nieuwsuur".

The Egyptian authorities have announced that they are considering paying compensation to stalled ships due to the accident.

The Northern Sea Route has "way more space to draw peculiar pictures using your giant ships", state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom said in a Twitter thread where it listed reasons to choose it as a "viable alternative" Thursday.

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Tugs and diggers have so far failed to dislodge the container ship in the Suez Canal, which has led to a gridlock of vessels waiting to pass.

"I don't think Egypt would be responsible for [the mess] unless some connection can be proven to not directing the ship properly or not mentioning the sandstorm coming through", he said.

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement is the company that supervises the Ever Given.

"Initial investigations rule out any mechanical or engine failure as a cause of the grounding", the company said. The Suez Canal is only 300 meters wide at the surface, narrow enough for the vessel to block it completely.

The Suez Canal is a particularly critical conduit for oil and liquefied natural gas, connecting the Middle East with Europe.

After the incident, Brent crude oil price increased by six percent, reaching $64.09 on Wednesday.

An estimation by Lloyd's List suggests that the Ever Given may be holding up cargo - travelling both up and down the canal - worth nearly $10bn. "It is going to take a while to get things un-gummed up".

In the latest challenge, more than 30 container ships are unable to sail after the 400-metre (430-yard) Ever Given boxship ran aground in the Suez Canal, blocking transit, the sources said.

The vessel, which carries approximately 20,000 shipping containers, making it one of the largest in the world, can be destabilized by gusts of wind because of the number of containers stacked on top of each other.

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