Oil tanker stuck in Suez Canal after breakdown, causing major traffic disruption in the international waterway
Cairo: A curd oil tanker named Seavigour, bearing the flag of Malta, suffered a mechanical breakdown at the 12-kilometer mark of Egypt's Suez Canal on Sunday, AP reported citing Egyptian authorities.
The incident occurred in a single-lane section of the canal, leading to disruptions in the flow of traffic through the vital global waterway, said Egypt's Suez Canal Authority spokesperson George Safwat.
He stated that three tugboats were dispatched by the canal authority to tow the curd oil tanker and enable the passage of other vessels through the waterway.
The tanker was a member of the north convoy, which traverses the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, he added.
Sunday's incident involving the curd oil tanker is the most recent occurrence of a vessel encountering difficulties in the crucial Suez Canal. In recent years, there have been several instances of ships running aground or experiencing mechanical issues in the canal.
On May 25, a Hong Kong-flagged ship temporarily blocked the waterway, while on March 5, a Liberia-flagged ship ran aground but was later refloated.
On March 202, the Panama-flagged Ever Given, a massive container ship, collided with a bank in a narrow section of the canal, leading to a six-day blockage and significant disruptions to global trade.
The Suez Canal, established in 1869, serves as a vital connection for the transportation of oil, natural gas, and cargo.
It plays a critical role in global trade, facilitating approximately 10% of the world's trade volume.
As a major source of foreign currency for the Egyptian government, the canal's economic importance cannot be overstated.
In 2022, the Suez Canal Authority reported a substantial increase in vessel traffic, with 23,851 ships passing through the waterway compared to 20,649 in 2021.
This surge in activity contributed to record-breaking revenue of USD 8 billion for the canal, marking the highest earnings in its history.