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Tanker collision disrupts Suez Canal traffic

Maritime traffic in the Suez Canal faced disruption when two tankers collided, bringing the globally important waterway to a brief halt. The incident occurred when the Singapore-flagged BW Lesmes, which was carrying liquefied natural gas, encountered mechanical problems and grounded the vessel during its passage. Subsequently, the Cayman Islands-flagged Donkey, an oil tanker, collided with the stationary BW Lesmes.

The Suez Canal Authority acted quickly, managing to refloat and tow the BW Lesmes. At the same time, efforts were being made to dislodge the Donkey from the waterway.

Admiral Ossama Rabei, head of the canal authority, assured that the breakdowns were quickly fixed. He predicted that maritime traffic would resume its normal course in a few hours. Initial assessments indicated that the tankers sustained minimal damage and environmental concerns were allayed with no significant contamination detected at the collision site.

This incident adds to a series of recent maritime events, with several vessels encountering operational issues on the waterway. In particular, in March 2021, the Ever Given, a huge Panamanian-flagged container ship, was lodged in a narrow stretch of the canal. This obstruction caused trade flow disruptions and global repercussions for six days.

The historic Suez Canal, established in 1869, remains a crucial conduit for the transport of oil, natural gas and cargo between Europe and regions of southern and eastern Asia and Oceania. Approximately 10% of world trade passes through this channel, playing a key role in Egypt’s foreign exchange reserves.

In 2022, the canal facilitated 23,851 ship passages, an increase from the 20,649 recorded in 2021. The remarkable revenue generated, which reached £6.3 billion, underlines the economic importance of the canal. This incident highlights the complex logistics involved in maintaining smooth maritime traffic within this vital global trade route.

This article is sourced from and written by AI.

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