suez stuck
Xin Hai Tong 23 Photo: Vesselfinder

Xin Hai Tong 23, a 189m, Hong-Kong-flagged geared bulker, which became the latest vessel to get stuck in the Suez Canal, has been re-floated.

The northbound convoy was due to enter at 0930hrs.

According to AIS data, tugs had been working to free the vessel, which was wedged in the canal stern-first at around 7am local time.

The vessel was caught on the bank across the initial curved section of the canal near Port Suez, near to where Ever Given became wedged across the channel. The section of canal is around 370m wide according to map data, meaning the vessel is likely occluding the median zone of maximum depth necessary to accommodate larger vessels.

A statement from the Leth Ship Agencies twitter account @AgenciesLeth, which broke the news, read: “M/V XIN HAI TONG 23 has grounded in the Suez Canal at KM 159/0400 hrs – 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 canal has seen several near-misses in the last two years, including bulk carrier Glory earlier this year. Each prompts ridicule and wild speculation across social media, with parallels inevitably drawn to the 2021 grounding of the Ever Given, which blocked the canal for six days and generated billions of dollars in costs for the maritime industry, insurers said, as well as direct losses of as much as $15m a day for Egypt itself.

It has been speculated that the curved initial section of the canal provides an extra challenge for pilots and navigators, who must account for dramatic shifts in their vessels’ pivot points throughout the passage – a contributing factor to the Ever Given incident, among others such as high winds and poor visibility.

“WAKE UP BABE. NEW BOAT STUCK IN SUEZ CANAL,” read one tweet this morning.

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