A crude oil tanker spent a short time aground in the Suez Canal on Wednesday, marking the third such incident this year for the waterway.
Shipping agency GAC confirmed that the oil tanker ran aground at about 0850 hours local time at kilometer 159 in the Suez Canal. The vessel was floated within a matter of hours – 1205 local time to be exact – and towed by Suez Canal tugs to the Suez outer anchorage.
“As per information from the Suez Canal Authority, the 163,038 DWT tanker was transiting the Canal as the last ship in the Northbound convoy,” GAC said in the agency’s Hot Port News.
While only a minor incident, it is at least the third ship grounding to hit the busy waterway this year.
In February, a capesize bulk carrier spent nearly two weeks aground, causing some delays to convoys.
On April 28, the 12,500 TEU containership MSC Fabiola ran aground along the western embankment of the Canal just north of Suez after losing propulsion. That ship spent about 3 days aground before it was refloated, all the while blocking convoys through the waterway.
And it’s not just inside canal waters where ships are running into trouble. Earlier this month a COSCO containership backed into a crane at the Suez Canal Container Terminal in Port Said, causing major damage after the crane to collapse onto containers. Prior to that, in November 2015, another large containership, APL Temasek, also struck a ship-to-shore gantry crane at the Suez Canal Container Terminal, causing it also to collapse onto the ship.