The Ever Given Saga Isn't Over Quite Yet

Egypt won't release container ship until probe is done, 'compensation is paid'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2021 7:15 AM CDT
Ever Given Still Isn't Free to Go
A work crew using excavating equipment tries last month to dig out the Ever Given, wedged across the Suez Canal and blocking traffic in the vital waterway.   (Suez Canal Authority via AP)

Rumors started floating again this week that the beleaguered Ever Given, the container ship stuck in the Suez Canal last month for six days, had become restuck. That's not true, but the 1,300-foot ship isn't exactly free, either: The Wall Street Journal reports that Egypt won't release the Ever Given, at least not until "investigations are complete and compensation is paid," Suez Canal Authority chair Osama Rabie said Thursday. "The minute they agree to compensation, the vessel will be allowed to move," Rabie said. How much compensation Egypt wants isn't clear, though last week Rabie threw out a figure of $1 billion, which he said would cover the laborious procedure to dislodge the ship, lost transit fees Egypt relies on, and other costs. USA Today notes that number doesn't include the losses incurred by the owners of the 400-plus ships that were caught in the logjam or of the cargo they had on board.

Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., the ship's Japanese owner, confirms it's in negotiations with Egypt. For now, the Ever Given remains idling in Egypt's Great Bitter Lake until this all gets cleared up, with the probe focusing on the data found on the ship's black box. Sources say a huge gust of wind during a sandstorm may have thrown the ship off course. Meanwhile, the man operating the excavator seen desperately trying to free the stuck container ship tells Insider he didn't like being elevated to meme status, sensing that people were making fun of his work. That made him more determined, however, to free the ship and put in 21-hour workdays to get the job done. "I was really so motivated because I wanted the world to say: 'He did it,'" 28-year-old Abdullah Abdul-Gawad says. Per Jalopnik, he still hasn't received his overtime pay. (Iran just freed a ship from South Korea it held for months.)

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