Ever Given: 'Lessons need to be drawn to improve safety,' says maritime expert

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By Euronews with AP
After nearly a week, Ever Given finally freed by tug boats
After nearly a week, Ever Given finally freed by tug boats   -   Copyright  AFP

Lessons need to be learned from the running aground of the Ever Given, the massive container ship that was stuck in the Suez Canal for nearly a week, an expert in maritime affairs has told Euronews.

Captain Jamil Sayegh, who has experience navigating the Suez Canal, said accidents happen especially in difficult conditions, "but we have to draw lessons out of this accident to enhance the safety of navigation not only this canal but every canal and every river where we have restricted water."

"Strong winds and human error" are among the issues that those in charge of ships need to be vigilant for, he added.

After nearly a week, salvage teams have finally managed to free the giant container ship.

The Ever Given was stuck sideways in one of the world's busiest waterways, straining global supply chains.

Helped by a high tide, a flotilla of tugboats managed to wrench the bow of the vessel from the canal's sandy bank.

Buffeted by a sandstorm, the Ever Given had crashed into a bank of a single-lane stretch of the canal, about six kilometres north of the southern entrance, near the city of Suez. This created a massive traffic jam that held up around $9 billion a day in global trade.

It's not clear when normal traffic will resume. At least 367 vessels, carrying everything from crude oil to cattle, have been backed up as they wait to traverse the canal.

Dozens of others have taken the long, alternate route around the Cape of Good Hope at Africa's southern tip - a 5,000-kilometre detour that costs ships hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel and other costs.

Watch the full interview with Captain Jamil Sayegh in the video player above.