To quote the great Los Angeles sportscaster Vin Scully: “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.”
In this case, the “impossible” has been the breakdown of yet another massive container ship in the Suez Canal. It seems like 2021 is insisting on going into “repeat” mode when it comes to some hits.
On Friday, Egyptian responders scrambled to clear the crucial channel after a ship called the Maersk Emerald experienced engine troubles while passing through the Suez near Ismailia.
Fortunately, unlike the huge 1,300-foot Ever Given that got stuck and completely obstructed the canal in March for nearly a week, the canal remains open at the time of this writing.
Workers were able to quickly and securely tow the Maersk Emerald out of the way for repairs, allowing other ships to traverse the Mediterranean-to-Red Sea route and preventing economic disaster.
However, the incident shows how so much of the world economy relies on narrow channels of water like the Suez Canal.
In March, hundreds of ships were prevented from traversing the narrow channel and were either ground to a halt or forced to take a much costlier alternative route around the Horn of Africa to deliver their goods.
Analysts believe that the huge backlog caused by the Ever Given blockage had a knock-on effect that reverberated across the global economy for weeks, if not months. The troublesome liner remains detained at a port near today’s close call, reports Reuters.
However, the Maersk Emerald was refloated and ferried away by four tugboats before being anchored for repairs, reports Marine News.
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