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In Egypt’s Suez Canal, two tankers collided, disrupting traffic in this crucial waterway

By 08/23/2023 10:46 AMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


According to Egyptian authorities, zwei tankers carrying liquefied natural gas and oil products collided in the Suez Canal on Wednesday, halting shipping through the international waterway.

The BW Lesmes, a tanker carrying liquefied natural gas and flying the Singapore Flag, experienced a mechanical issue on Tuesday night and ran aground while navigating the Suez Canal, according to a statement from the Suez Canal Authority.

The Burri, an oil tanker flying the Cayman Island Flag, collided with the wrecked ship. According to the statement, the collision caused traffic delays. The two tankers were a part of a convoy that was traveling between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Adm. Ossama Rabei, the head of the canal authority, said in the statement, „We’ve immediately handled the breakdowns, and traffic will return to normal in both directions within the next few hours.“ Leth Agencies, a provider of canal services, said on Wednesday that the event caused a passage delay for 21 southbound vessels.

The canal, a significant source of foreign revenue for the Egyptian government, facilitates about 10% of global trade. A massive cargo ship flying the flag of Panama, Ever Given, collided with a bank on a single-lane section of the canal in March 2021, closing the waterway for six days and interfering with international trade.

A time-lapse video of the incident, which was published by MarineTraffic, a supplier of vessel-tracking services, shows the Burri moving to port and colliding with the BW Lesmes, which was already grounded across the river.

The Burri is 44 meters (144 feet) broad and 250 meters (820 feet) long, having been constructed in 2018. Three years later, the BW Lesmes was constructed. According to MarineTraffic, it measures 295 meters (968 feet) long and 46,43 meters (152 feet) broad. While efforts were being made to remove the Burri from the channel, the canal authorities said they were able to refloat and tow away the BW Lesmes.

It published pictures of the Burri being towed away and the Lesmes anchored in the canal anchorage.

The BW Lesmes’ owners, BW LNG AS, issued a statement saying, „All crew members are safe and accounted for and there have been no injuries or reports of pollution.“

Initial checks, according to Rabei, revealed no serious pollution or damage to the tankers. Later on Wednesday, a technical team from Oslo, Norway, would travel aboard the vessel to look into the incident, according to BW LNG AS. It was the most recent instance of a vessel being reported as being stuck in the important waterway. Over the past few years, numerous ships have grounded or broken down in the Suez Canal. After colliding with a tanker flying the flag of Hong Kong earlier this month, a tugboat capsized in the canal.

The canal, which links the Red and Mediterranean Oceans, was inaugurated in 1869. It offers a vital connection for freight, natural gas, and oil. One northbound and a southbound convoy run daily under the control of the canal authority.

The Suez Canal Authority reports that 23,851 vessels transited the waterway in 2017 as opposed to 20,649 vessels in 2021. The canal generated $8 billion in revenue in 2022, the most ever.


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