A man driving an excavator on the Suez Canal said he slept for three hours at night, but had not yet paid for overtime.


abdullah abdelgawad Suez Canal excavator ever given

Abdullah Abdel Gawad standing on the excavator on March 29th. Abdullah Abdel-Gawad / Facebook

  • Abdullah Abdul-Gawad told insiders about helping to free the Ever Given container ship from the Suez Canal.

  • He said his work was exhausted and he and his colleagues hardly slept.

  • He is proud of his “once in a lifetime” achievement, but feels that he has received very little official recognition.

  • See other articles on Insider’s business page..

Excavator operator Abdullah Abdul Gawad thought that when he learned of an emergency on the Suez Canal, it meant that he had no work for the day.

Instead, the exact opposite happened in the coming hours, and the next five days and nights. Skyscraper-sized container ship, Evergiven, I moved to the bank of the canal On March 23, Abdul Gawad’s boss was in urgent need of him.

“You need to get in the car right now because you’re the only excavator driver who’s close enough,” Abdul Gawad told the insider through an interpreter and remembered what he said. It was.

Abdul Gawad described the scene he faced at work and told insiders:

He and his colleagues, 28, who have been operating excavators since college, said they worked 21 hours and slept very little, but still didn’t receive overtime.

Here’s how he said the event unfolded from within the excavator cabin:

David vs Goliath

Suez Canal given so far

Evergiven trapped in the Suez Canal in Egypt as of Thursday, March 25, 2021. Suez Canal Authority

Liberation of Evergiven is an international effort and Winch, dredger, tugboat, excavator But Abdul Gawad was literally the man on the rock wall in question. When he arrived at the base of the ship, he had no choice but to start digging.

He estimates that the bow of Evergiven is about 6 meters higher than where the ship should be floating. Its stern was also on the opposite bank, and a sideways ship blocked all traffic.

To get closer to the bottom of the ship, he made a makeshift “bridge” from the rubble he dug, allowing him to approach.

The image of a small excavator gave the world an unparalleled meme feed, The situation wasn’t very interesting for Abdul-Gawad -It was dangerous.

Under the side of the approaching ship, he was afraid that the ship would become unstable and fall. “The problem was that I was afraid that the ship might be listed too far on either side,” he said. “If it falls to me sideways, it’s a goodbye excavator with me.”

“The size of the ship and the size of the excavator are absolutely scary.”

Two more excavators arrived at the scene a few days later, but their drivers were too uneasy to do what Abdul Gawad was doing, he said. Instead, they cleaned up the material near the base after he dug it out.

21 hours day

Ever given on the Suez Canal

Suez Canal Authority via AP

Abdulgawad drove an excavator in flip-flops and dug for hours.

Following this, the tugboat burst for 30 minutes and tried to pull the ship. Abdulgawad and his machine retreated after receiving a walkie-talkie signal.

“But there was no movement until I went down five or six meters,” he said.

By the second day, his excavator memes (based on images circulated by the Suez Canal Authority) flooded his social media feeds.

For him, “everyone is just kidding it,” he said. “That’s why I decided so much. I was like you were making fun of me, so I’ll definitely prove that I can do this.”

But it was never clear what he could do.

“It wasn’t really interesting because I didn’t know if this ship would come out. I was in the middle of the situation,” he said. It has become a personal mission.

“So instead of mocking, I felt I might actually do something to help me believe that I could get this ship out,” he added.

As the days went by, Abdul Gawad said he and his colleagues seized a brief resting moment in the barracks used by the border guards working nearby. “They knew that when we got home, we couldn’t see our skin or hair for another eight to nine hours,” he said.

At best, they slept about three hours a night, and it took only one hour a night, he said.


Have been given the Suez Canal

Satellite view of the scene. Satellite image © 2021 Maxar Technologies

Thursday 25th, dedicated dredger- Mash hour -I participated in the initiative. Abdul Gawad’s job was to transfer rock and sand material from the bow of the ship while the mash hour was removing silt from the canal’s bed, he said.

Joint effort- With the help of high tide -The next day, it showed hopeful signs and finally succeeded on March 29th. With the release of EverGiven, all workers cheered- The tugboat is ringing -For celebration.

Abdul-Gawad said he and his colleagues were “exhausted and half-dead … we were stretched to the limit.”

But when I saw what they did, everything changed. “The moment we saw the ship set sail, just as we were exhausted, it seemed that the tiredness had disappeared because of such a sense of accomplishment.”

President Abdul Fatta Elsisi takes the winning lap Issued a statement stating: “The Egyptians have ended the stranded ship crisis given so far, despite the very technical complexity surrounding the process.”

And … almost silent

Suez Canal given so far

Officials leaving the site of the ship that landed on Thursday, March 25, 2021. Suez Canal Authority

The Suez Canal is the source of Egypt’s national pride and was called “a gift to the Egyptian world” on the sign when the channel was expanded in 2015.

However, Abdul Gawad said he rarely attended the celebration. He said he had little official approval for his role, except for a small ceremony held by a newspaper.

“I was invited to a ceremony to honor the people they left the ship,” he said. It is primarily for the Suez Canal Authority employees he said, and Abdulgawad is not included as he works for a subcontractor.

He said it felt like a retrofit. He said the event took place in a city four hours away and he received an invitation an hour and a half ago.

He hurts about it. “So the Suez Canal Authority tapped on its back and told itself what great work they did,” he said. “But after all … without the excavator, the ship wouldn’t have gone anywhere. It might still be stuck.”

Still, Abdul Gawad proudly looks back on those special days.

“This is an achievement,” he said. “This is an achievement for Egypt at first, but it is also an achievement for me. This will probably happen once or twice in a lifetime. I am proud.”

Read the original article Business insider