The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has succeeded in dragging and anchoring a Danish container ship, the Emma Maersk, after it had experienced a leak due to problems with its propeller on Friday night, at the entrance of the Suez Canal.
The Danish ship, one of the largest container ships in the world, experienced leakage due to the erosion of one of its propellers’ parts, which then led to water flow, said Tarek Hassanien, media spokesperson for the SCA.
First launched in 2006, Emma Maersk is owned by the AP Moller-Maersk Group. It measures 397 metres long and 56 metres wide, and is able to carry around 11,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).
The problem halted the ship completely, forcing the captain to radio a distress call. The SCA then responded by sending a locomotive to rescue the ship. The leakage had put the ship at serious risk of sinking, something which could have potentially blocked navigation traffic in the canal.
“Breakdowns like this sometimes happen,” Hassanien said. “It is normal, and doesn’t need all this propaganda.”
According to the Head of the SCA Mohab Mamish, the Emma Maersk didn’t affect navigation traffic in the Canal, with everything currently “going normally”.
Mamish said around 44 container ships crossed the canal loaded with around 2.6 million tonnes on Friday. The two biggest ships that sailed that day, the Al-Mayeda and the Mesaimmer, were hauling 166,000 and 138,000 tonnes of liquid natural gas, respectively.
Head of the Port Said Port Authority Ahmed Sharaf reaffirmed on a telephone call to independently-owned Al-Hayah TV that the ship did not sink, confirming that locomotives had rushed in to save it, according to state-run Al-Ahram.
“The ship is currently close to the eastern port of Port Said, and it is expected to depart today,” Sharaf said.