After six days and nights, the massive Ever Given container ship finally floated free in the Suez Canal (see picture above). But questions remain, basically, how could a ship with a beam of 194 feet get stuck sideways in a section of the canal that’s 869 feet wide?
The shipping company said the Ever Given, piled high with 20,000 containers, was hit by winds from a sudden sandstorm. Other large container ships, however, transited the canal safely at the same time. And the Ever Given appeared to veer from side to side in the canal before it got stuck.
The sheer size of the ship made rescue operations a nightmare. It’s 1,312 feet long (longer than four football fields), weighs 220,000 tons and draws 51 feet. All told, it took 11 tug boats and a combination of dredges, salvage crews and divers to free the ship, and that was only after a full moon and high tide. Meanwhile, more than 300 other ships were backed up on both ends of the canal, at an estimated cost of $10 billion a day lost in international trade.
Read a full story in The New York Times, below. But try your own skills at navigating the canal in the interactive game here: