09-09-2021 Bulker grounded in Suez Canal, but traffic keeps moving, By Holly Birkett and Matt Coyne, TradeWinds
The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has confirmed a “very brief grounding” of a bulk carrier on Thursday, stressing the event did not impact traffic on the key waterway. The authority’s chairman and managing director Adm. Ossama Rabiee said in a statement that the incident involving the 78,100-dwt panamax Coral Crystal (built 2012) was handled quickly and that traffic was uninterrupted.
The canal saw 61 vessels travel between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea on Thursday, the SCA said. “The incident was resolved in a professional manner through the aid of SCA tugboats, and the ship resumed its transit through the canal,” the authority said. “Traffic was not negatively impacted in any way since it was directed to the eastern branch of Al- Ballah bypass.”
The statement follows on various media outlets reporting that four ships coming from Port Said toward Suez had been held up by the vessel. But GAC managing director Mohammed Badawi called those reports into question, telling TradeWinds that the Coral Crystal simply suffered an engine fault and was sailing under its own power. The Coral Crystal is owned by Lua Line/Okino Kaiun of Japan and is managed by compatriot company World Marine, according to Equasis.
A total of 37 vessels were due to transit the Canal in a southbound convoy on Thursday, according to Leth Agencies. Twenty-four vessels are booked to complete the northbound transit.
Suez Canal traffic was halted for six days in March by the 20,388-teu containership Ever Given (built 2018), which ran aground. In addition to fueling congestion that rippled across shipping, particularly in the container sector, the casualty is predicted to be one of the largest general average settlements to date. The Evergreen Marine-chartered ultra-large containership finally unloaded its cargo at the Port of Rotterdam in July, four months late.