THE mega-ship longer than the Eiffel Tower blocking the Suez Canal has reportedly been refloated.
Footage posted on social media appeared to show the stern of the Ever Given facing towards the canal bank enabling other ships to pass.
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It’s hoped the stricken vessel will soon be afloat again[/caption]
Two more tugboats were sent to try and free the stricken ship[/caption]
Inchcape, a maritime services firm, is one of several sources reporting that the boat had been freed.
The 400m-long Ever Given became wedged in the shipping lane due to extreme weather conditions last Tuesday.
This comes after those tasked with shifting the monster vessel told NBC they have managed to move the vessel 98ft – around 30 metres.
Meanwhile, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ordered preparations for removing the cargo from the stricken ship.
That would involve transferring some containers to another vessel or to the canal bank.
Experts earlier told the BBC that such an operation would involve bringing in specialist equipment, including a crane that would need to stretch more than 60m (200ft) high, and could take weeks.
The 200,000-tonne Japanese vessel, which carries cargo between Asia and Europe, became stuck in a single-lane stretch of the canal on Tuesday.
Since then, the Egyptian authorities have been unable to shift it and traffic through the canal – valued at more than £6.5billion a day – has been brought to a grinding halt.
The Dutch-flagged Alp Guard and the Italian-flagged Carlo Magno, called in to work alongside tugboats already on scene, reached the Red Sea near the city of Suez yesterday.
The Japanese ship became stuck in a single-lane stretch of the canal on Tuesday[/caption]
They will now help nudge the 400m-long Ever Given as dredgers continue to vacuum up sand from underneath the vessel and mud caked to its port side.
They have so far shifted 27,000 cubic metres of sand around the ship to reach a depth of 18 metres, the authority said in a statement.
Workers made two attempt to shift the vessel coinciding with high tides.
And a top pilot with the canal authority revealed amid hopes the boat could be back afloat soon.
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“Sunday is very critical,” the unnamed pilot said. “It will determine the next step, which highly likely involves at least the partial offloading of the vessel.
“Taking containers off the ship likely would add even more days to the canal’s closure, something authorities have been desperately trying to avoid.
“It also would require a crane and other equipment that have yet to arrive.”