Elon Musk suggested a mini-submarine to rescue the boys trapped inside a flooded Thai cave in July 2018. Today, Twitter is pleading with him to participate in the Suez canal blockade.
Is it Elon Musk’s turn to save the day? Or, at the very least, that is what everybody is looking for in the latest Suez Canal blockade situation. The big cargo container ship that was heading for the Mediterranean and created a traffic jam on one of the busiest sea trade links, the Suez Canal, after it ran aground sideways, may have been cursed. After being struck by strong winds on Tuesday, the 200,000-tonne vessel ‘Ever Issued,’ owned by Taiwanese company Evergreen Marine, ended up lodging sideways. Several ships on both sides of one of the most active sea routes have been stranded as a result of the incident. The Suez Canal is the shortest sea route between Asia and Europe, connecting the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Digging vessels have been deployed to assist the stranded vessel in resuming its voyage.
The ship is 400 metres long and 59 metres tall, making passage difficult for any other ship. Egypt is said to have reopened the canal’s older channel to allow other ships to pass through while the Ever Given is being refloated, slowing vessel movement.
Twitter, like his submarine during the Thai cave rescue, is waiting for Elon Musk to come up with a solution while actual solutions are being created.
Elon Musk, an American tech entrepreneur, suggested a mini-submarine to save the boys trapped inside a flooded Thai cave in July 2018, floated the concept on social media and linked it to his space exploration company.
According to the ship’s owner, Evergreen Marine, the ship “suspected of being struck by a sudden strong wind, causing the hull to deviate… and inadvertently hit the bottom and run aground.” The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has announced that it is attempting to refloat the ship.
“Rescue and tug units are continuing their efforts” to free the MV Ever Issued, according to SCA chairman Admiral Osama Rabie.
According to Bloomberg, it triggered a backlog of more than 100 ships attempting to navigate the canal.
The news agency quoted Alok Roy, fleet director of BSM Hong Kong, the Ever Given ship manager, as saying, “There was a grounding incident.”
Excavators onshore were also seen removing soil from the canal’s bank in photographs released by the SCA, with the earth-moving machinery dwarfed by the giant hull looming above.
The canal, which connects the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, first opened to traffic in 1869 and was recently widened to fit larger ships.
Large clusters of vessels circling at both ends of the canal — in the Mediterranean off Port Said and in the north of the Red Sea — were visible on a map given by MarineTraffic. The map showed at least six tug boats near the stuck Ever Given in the canal.The ship was bound for Rotterdam, Netherlands, according to shipping website Vessel Finder, and it was unknown why it had stopped moving.
On Twitter, Leth Companies, which offers canal crossing services, said: “Tug boats are currently attempting to re-float the vessel.”
The Suez Canal is one of the most important trading routes in the world, carrying 10% of all international maritime trade.
As compared to the alternative route through the southern tip of Africa, the journey between Gulf ports and London is roughly halved by passing via Suez.
According to the Suez Canal Authority, nearly 19,000 ships passed through it last year, carrying more than one billion tonnes of freight (SCA).
It has been a blessing to Egypt’s ailing economy in recent years, with the canal expected to bring in $5.61 billion in revenue in 2020. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced plans for an extension in 2015, with the goal of reducing wait times and doubling the number of ships using the canal on a regular basis by 2023.
To deal with the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Sisi directed his cabinet to pursue a “flexible marketing strategy” for the canal in February.
More than half of the canal’s traffic is carried by container ships, some of which are among the world’s biggest, with capacities of up to 23,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit).
Oil makes up the majority of the cargo travelling from the Gulf to Western Europe.
In the other direction, manufactured goods and grain are mostly exported from Europe and North America to the Far East and Asia.