After being trapped for almost a week, the Ever Given has been finally freed and is no longer blocking the Suez Canal in Egypt.
Ever Given was en route to Rotterdam, Netherlands from China. It had taken somewhat of an unusual route before entering the canal, and many Twitter users noted that there was an unfortunate shape created by the path when viewed on a map.
The ship first became stuck on Tuesday, March 23 at 7:40 am local time. According to officials, this was because of high winds and sandstorms, both of which are not uncommon in Egypt this time of year.
Considering the ship’s length at 399.94 meters (1,312 feet 2 inches) and the angle at which it was stuck, it is no surprise that the canal was effectively blocked.
Efforts were made for the following 6 days to free the ship. Initially, Egyptian authorities used eight tugboats in an effort to tow the ship, but this alone was not enough. It was speculated that part of this was due to the fact that the bow was lodged in the wall of the canal.
Following a change in tides and several tugboats working together on Monday, the bow was finally freed and the ship was able to continue on.
The canal is now under inspection to make sure that it is safe for other ships to pass through. There are currently at least 367 other ships backlogged, and Egyptian authorities are unsure as to when canal traffic will return to normal.
The blockage resulted in a loss of over $92 million in tolls, which feed into Egypt’s economy. This is not only due to a stall in traffic, but also ships sailing around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi was silent on the issue until the Ever Given was freed on Monday. He posted on Facebook, “Egyptians have succeeded in ending the crisis despite the massive technical complexity.”
The United States embassy in Cairo also tweeted their congratulations and support on Monday.
This incident was not left untouched by the general public. Countless Internet memes were spawned as a result of the blockage, flooding popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Reddit, and TikTok.