| 19 June 2024, Wednesday |

One vessel in collision on Suez Canal refloats, ship traffic unaffected

According to a corporate statement and shipping sources, one of the two vessels that collided on Egypt’s Suez Canal has been refloated and headed to anchorage for examination on Wednesday, while maritime traffic on the Canal was flowing regularly.

BW LNG AS, the operators of the Singapore-flagged liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier BW Lesmes, reported the vessel ran aground while traveling southward via the Suez Canal on Tuesday at about 21:35 (1835 GMT), according to BW Group.

Following the grounding, another vessel collided with the BW Lesmes at low speed, but did not affect the vessel’s operational capabilities, said BW Group.

“Initial observations from the crew onboard have reported the vessel remains structurally sound,” it said.

BW Lesmes was successfully re-floated at 03:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

BW Group also said all crew members were safe and there were no reports of pollution. While the vessel is now under pilotage and proceeding to Suez anchorage for further inspections.

Ship tracking company MarineTraffic said the Cayman Islands-flagged oil products tanker Burri was identified as the other vessel involved in the collision.

TMS Tankers, which manages the Burri, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

As of 5 a.m. local time (0200 GMT), the Burri was moored and pointing south about 12 km (7.5 miles) from the southern end of the canal, according to ship tracking data on Refinitiv Eikon.

A person who answered the phone at the Suez Canal Authority’s operations room when contacted by Reuters said he could not provide any information on the tankers. He did not give his name when asked. The Authority has not yet issued an official statement.

The Suez Canal is one of the world’s busiest waterways and the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

About 12% of the world’s trade moves through the canal. During strong winds in 2021, a huge container ship, the Ever Given, became jammed across it, halting traffic in both directions for six days and disrupting global trade.

  • Reuters