Germany-based MV Ever Given Technical Manager Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) provided updates on the vessel’s refloating efforts from the southern end of the Suez Canal.
The vessel, one of the largest ultra-large container ships (ULCVs) in the world, ran aground around 7 a.m. local time near mile marker 151 on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. SMIT Recoverywhich is part of the Dutch dredging and marine services group Boskaliswas the designated lifeguard.
The vessel was successfully refloated on March 29 after an effort involving multiple tugs and dredges. The vessel is now under tow to the Bitter Great Lakes.
Below are highlights from the latest updates from BSM (this will be continually updated as new reports arrive):
April 14 update: ABS authorizations never granted for passage through Port Said, vessel stopped
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) as technical managers of the container ship NEVER GIVEN (IMO: 9811000), can confirm that thorough inspections by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) as the ship’s classification society, which included underwater inspections, have been concluded.
Based on these thorough inspections, the vessel has been declared fit to continue its voyage to Port Said where it will be assessed again before departing for Rotterdam.
However, BSM has been informed by the shipowner that the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has started arrest proceedings against the ship. Currently, the ship remains anchored in the Great Bitter Lake until an agreement between the SCA and the shipowner is reached.
“The SCA’s decision to arrest the vessel is extremely disappointing. From the outset, BSM and the crew on board cooperated fully with all authorities, including the SCA and their respective investigations into the grounding. This included granting access to the voyage data recorder (VDR) and other documents and data requested by the SCA. BSM’s main objective is a rapid resolution of this matter which will allow the ship and crew to leave the Suez Canal,” said Ian Beveridge, CEO of BSM.
The crew on board remain healthy and in good spirits, performing their duties to the highest standards. BSM is in regular contact with the crew and has offered support to the sailors’ families. The continued professionalism and resilience of the crew during this time is greatly appreciated.
March 29 Update: Ever Given Refloated
« Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) as technical manager of the container ship NEVER GIVEN (IMO: 9811000), can confirm that the vessel was safely refloated around 3:00 p.m. local time on March 29, 2021.”
“BSM expresses its deepest gratitude to all parties involved in the emergency response, including the Suez Canal Authority, SMIT Salvage and the crew on board, who worked tirelessly to free the vessel and restore navigability in the Suez Canal”,
“NEVER GIVEN will now head to Great Bitter Lake where she will undergo a full inspection.
March 28 update:
- “The ALP Guarda Dutch-registered specialist tug, arrived on the scene today to assist with the ongoing salvage operations.
- Dredging operations continued throughout the day and further attempts to refloat the vessel will continue this evening once the tug is in a safe position with the 11 tugs already on site. (Note: Sunday night’s bailout attempt has been rescheduled for Monday)
- “In addition, soil experts visited the site alongside SCA officials to advise on further recovery efforts. An additional dredge, the THSD pavement registered in Cyprus, is also on the way to the scene to provide additional dredging capacity. The vessel is expected to arrive by March 30, 2021.”
March 27 update:
- “Further attempts to refloat the vessel resumed around 2:00 p.m. local time after significant progress was made last night at the stern of the vessel where the vessel’s rudder was freed from sediment. 11 tugs worked the entire the day alongside ongoing dredging operations which continue to remove sand and mud around the port side of the vessel’s bow.
- “These refloating efforts are expected to continue until approximately midnight local time.”
- “The two additional tugs that will arrive by March 28 to help refloat the vessel are the ALP Guard registered in the Netherlands and Carlo Magnaregistered in Italy.“
- “There have been no reports of pollution or damage to the cargo and initial inquiries rule out any mechanical or engine failure as the cause of the grounding.”
March 26 update:
- “Another attempt to refloat the vessel earlier today, March 26, 2021, was unsuccessful. The Smit Salvage team on board confirms that two additional tugs of 220-240T draft will arrive from here on March 28, 2021 to assist in the refloating of the ship.
- “The focus now is on dredging to remove sand and mud around the port side of the bow of the vessel. A specialized suction dredger, capable of moving 2,000 cubic meters of material per hour, arrived on site on March 25, 2021 to support ongoing dredging operations.
- “Provisions are also made for large capacity pumps to reduce the water levels in the forward void space of the vessel and in the bow thruster room.” Editor’s Note: We have contacted BSM and they have confirmed some water infiltration, i.e. flooding, limited to these spaces.
- No pollution or damage to the cargo has been reported at this time.
March 25 update:
A team of expert rescuers from Smit Salvage have been appointed and are now on the ship, with rescue operations coordinated by the Suez Canal Authority, according to BSM.
“The focus now is on dredging to remove sand and mud around the port side of the bow of the vessel. In addition to the dredges already on site, a specialized suction dredge is now with the vessel and will soon begin work. This dredge can move 2,000 cubic meters of material per hour,” the company informs.
At the time of the incident, Ever Given was transiting north through the canal en route to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, with two canal pilots on board.
BSM reports that initial investigations still suggest the vessel ran aground due to high winds. So far there have been no reports of pollution or damage to the cargo and initial inquiries have ruled out any mechanical or engine failure as the cause of the grounding.
The 25 crew members, all Indian nationals, are safe and remain on board.
Details of the MV never given:
- Name: MV NEVER GIVEN
- IMO number: 9811000
- Registered: PANAMA
- Gross tonnage: 219,079
- Deadweight tonnage: 198,886
- TEU capacity: 20,124
- Length: 399.94 meters
- Width: 59 meters
- Reported draft: 15.7 meters
- Speed: 22.8 knots
- Operator: Evergreen Line (Taiwan)
- Owner: Shoei Kisen Kaisha (Japan)
- Insurer: UK P&I Club
- Classification society: ABS
- Delivered: 2018
- Shipbuilder: Imabari Shipbuilding (Japan)
“The crew is working closely with all parties involved to refloat the vessel. The hard work and tireless professionalism of the captain and crew are greatly appreciated,” BSM said.
“BSM’s ongoing priorities are to refloat the vessel safely and resume maritime traffic in the Suez Canal.
“BSM is grateful for the continued efforts of the Suez Canal Authority and those involved in the ongoing salvage operations and BSM will continue to work closely with all parties involved in this operation.
“Once refloated, the vessel will undergo a full inspection and BSM will cooperate fully with authorities in any investigation.”
The Japanese shipowner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha, meanwhile apologized for the incident and said the job of freeing the ship “was extremely difficult”.
Declaration of the insurer (UK Club for Protection and Indemnity):
“The UK Club has insured the owner of ‘Ever Given’ for certain third party liabilities which may arise from an incident such as this – including, for example, damage to infrastructure or claims for obstruction. The vessel itself and its cargo will have been insured separately. Although the UK Club is unable to comment on details of any confidential insurance or potential claim, all valid claims will be investigated by the shipowner, the UK Club and their legal advisers in due course. Currently, the UK Club’s aim is to work with all parties involved to facilitate a safe conclusion to this incident. Source
Replay AIS never given
The video below using Ever Given’s automatic identification system (AIS) data shows the vessel’s trajectory before, during and after its grounding on March 23, 2021. Video produced by FleetMon: