Salvage teams freed the Ever Given in the Suez Canal, according to maritime services provider Inchcape, almost a week after the giant vessel ran aground in one of the world’s most important trade paths.
Traffic is now resuming in this key commercial waterway. Egyptian television has showed the ship moving down the centre of the canal.
The breakthrough in the rescue attempt came after diggers removed 27,000 cubic meters of sand, going deep into the banks of the canal.
“The rudder was not moving and it is now moving, the propeller is working now, there was no water underneath the bow, and now there is water under it, and yesterday there was a 4-meter deviation in the bow and the stern,” sources told Reuters.
Now that the ship is floating again, the waterway is again open to traffic, but it is not clear how long it will take to clear the logjam of more than 450 ships stuck, waiting and en route to the Suez that have identified it as their next destination.
Hundreds of other container ships, bulk carriers and oil-laden tankers are backed up at both ends of the canal as salvage teams intensified excavation and dredging to refloat the 400-metre (440-yard) ship.
Oil prices rose more than 4 per cent on Friday, capping a week of wild swings as traders and investors tried to weigh the impact of the blockage of a key trade transit point and the broader effect of lockdowns to stop coronavirus infections. Commodity prices and stock markets have begun to steady on the news that the canal is operational again.
Prices are getting some support from expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies will maintain lower output levels when they meet this week.