With the ship released, the investigation into the blockage of the Suez Canal begins.


Suez, Egypt (AP) —Tuesday experts blocked Egypt’s important Suez Canal, boarded a huge container ship that disrupted world trade for nearly a week, meaning billions of dollars in legal terms I asked for an answer to one question that I might ask. ??

Hundreds of people were playing waiting for their turn, which would take days, when the fleet of ships began traveling again through this artery connecting the east and west through the Mediterranean and Red Sea. Egyptian government officials, insurance companies, shippers and others were also waiting for details on March 23 about why the skyscraper-sized Evergiven was caught in a single lane on the south side of the canal.

Liability can turn into a year-long proceeding over the cost of repairing a ship, repairing a canal, or reimbursing someone who sees an interruption in the transportation of cargo. And since the ship is owned by a Japanese company, operated by a Taiwanese shipper, flagged in Panama and now stuck in Egypt, the problem quickly becomes an international swamp.

“This ship is a multinational company,” said Captain John Konrad, founder and CEO of the ship’s news website, gcaptain.com.

Experts boarded an idling Evergiven on Egypt’s Great Bitter Lake, just north of the canal blockade on Tuesday. A senior canal pilot spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak to journalists, saying the Associated Press was looking for signs of damage and was trying to identify the cause of the ship’s ground contact.

Conrad warned that ship damage could be structural. Stuck for days across the canal, the middle of the ship went up and down with the tide, bending up and down under the tremendous weight of about 20,000 containers over a length of 400 meters (1/4 mile). On Monday, when workers partially lifted the ship, all its pressure advanced toward the bow and acted as a pivot point until the ship was finally free.

“Structural integrity is number one. As you know, the ship was slack in the waterways, which put a lot of strain on it,” said Conrad. “They need to check everything for cracks, especially the rear rudder and propellers that are connected to the engine compartment.”

“And they need to go through all the mechanical equipment, test the engine, all the safety valves, all the equipment, and then decide that it is safe to sail to the next port alone or by tugboat. . “He added.

As of Tuesday morning, more than 300 vessels carrying everything from crude oil to cattle were waiting for permission to continue their voyages to their destinations at both ends of the Suez Canal and on Great Bitter Lake, said canal service provider Les Agency. It was.

The shipowner, Japanese company Shoei Kisen Co., Ltd., said on Tuesday that it would be part of the investigation, along with other sources, although it was not identified by name. He also refused to discuss possible causes of the incident, such as ship speeds and strong winds during a sandstorm, and said he could not comment on the ongoing investigation. Early reports also suggested that a “power outage” struck the ship, which was denied by the ship’s technical manager.

The company added that most of the damage to the ship is believed to be in the keel. He said it was not immediately clear whether the ship would be repaired on-site in Egypt or elsewhere, or ultimately to its first destination, Rotterdam. The company said this was a decision made by the operator, not the shipowner.

Ship grounding has stopped billions of dollars a day in maritime commerce. Those losses. In addition to physical damage caused by the incident, proceedings may occur.

Shoei Kisen Co., Ltd. has approximately $ 3 billion in liability insurance through 13 protection and compensation clubs. These clubs are non-profit mutual insurance companies used by the majority of shipping companies around the world.

Clyde and Co., a global law firm, said Ever Gived owners are likely to pay Egyptian canal authorities for the assistance already provided to the vessel. Authorities can also fine Ever Given.

“We expect further investigation into the cause to determine the cause. Obviously, the cause will affect the liability of the vessel and the interests of the cargo,” the company said.

On Monday, a tugboat fleet, helped by the ebb and flow of the tide, tore the bulbous bow of Evergiven from the sandy beaches of the canal, which had been firmly anchored since March 23. Water after futile days that captivated the world and caused scrutiny and social media ridicule.

Analysts expect it will take at least another 10 days to clear the backlog at both ends of the Suez Canal.

Evergiven collided with a one-lane bank of a canal about 6 km (3.7 miles) north of the south entrance near the city of Suez. This forced some ships to take a long alternative route around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. A 5,000-kilometer (3,100-mile) detour costs hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel and other costs.

An unprecedented shutdown that has caused long-term delays, product shortages and rising consumer cost concerns raises new questions about the shipping industry, the world’s on-demand supplier under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic. Caused.

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Gambrel reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Mari Yamaguchi, an Associated Press writer in Tokyo, contributed to this report.

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