NEW DELHI: The all-Indian crew of MV Never given, the container ship stuck in the Suez Canal since March 23, is safe and working hard to refloat the ship, a press release from Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), the company that technically manages the ship, said.
Meanwhile, maritime bottlenecks have grown to around 321 ships. The immobility of the ship is holding cargo valued at $ 9.6 billion per day and costing about $ 400 million per hour, according to estimates by insurance company Lloyd.
In India, the Center drew up a four-point plan to deal with the situation resulting from the blockage, including advising ships to re-route via the Cape of Good Hope. This plan was chalked up at a meeting called Friday by the logistics division, department of commerce. It included cargo prioritization, freight rates, port advice and vessel rerouting.
“The 25 crew (members) are safe and counted and they remain in good health and in a good mood. All crew members are Indian nationals and remain on board. They are working closely with all parties involved to get the ship afloat. The hard and tireless work, the professionalism of the captain and the crew is greatly appreciated, ”the statement read.
“Early investigations suggest the vessel ran aground due to the strong wind … Smit Salvage was tasked with the rescue operations. The focus is now on dredging to remove sand and mud from the port side of the bow of the ship. A specialized suction hopper dredger, which can move 2,000 cubic meters of material every hour, arrived on site on March 25 to support ongoing dredging operations, ”the statement added.
The canal route was last closed in June 1967, a convoy of 14 freighters was crossing the Suez Canal when a sudden war broke out between Israel and Egypt. The war lasted a few days; the ships remained stranded for the next eight years!