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Satellite images of ship Ever Given in Suez Canal shows work underway

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Satellite imagery offers a unique perspective of the stalled ship Ever Given as the crews work to free the mega container ship that has been blocking the Suez Canal for four days.

Maxar Technologies’ WorldView-2 satellite captured high-resolution images on Friday morning and viewed the dredging work to free the ship up close. Ever Given, which is operated by the Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen Marine, has been stuck since Tuesday when the ship ran aground in strong winds and poor visibility of a sand storm.

Shipping companies warn that it may take weeks for the Ever Given to be released. The enormous carrier is over 1,300 feet long and approximately 193 feet wide. It weighs more than 200,000 tons. One end of the ship is wedged into one side of the canal and the other extends almost to the other bank.

The ship blocks the Suez Canal completely, through which, according to the Suez Canal Authority, an average of 52 ships per day pass.

The channel handles around 12% of the world’s ocean trade, with each day of the blockade disrupting more than $ 9 billion in goods – meaning every hour of delay an estimated $ 400 million in trade, according to data company Lloyd’s List. Dollar complies.

Images captured by the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite showed that shipping traffic in the Gulf of Suez was declining. According to estimates by the research company StoneX, more than 150 ships are currently waiting for the Ever Given to be released.

The images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite on March 21st and 25th offer a direct comparison of shipping traffic in the Gulf of Suez.

European space agency

The ships continue to wait as the diversion around the southern tip of Africa significantly extends a journey. For example, sailing from the Suez Canal to Amsterdam takes about 13 days when traveling at 12 knots compared to 41 days when traveling around the African Cape of Good Hope.

The satellite images from Planet Labs gave another view of the transportation building in the Gulf.

Planet Labs satellite image showing that shipping has stopped because the container ship Ever Given ran aground in the canal (top left).

Source: Planet Labs

A synthetic aperture radar image captured by a Capella satellite on the evening of March 25 shows the Ever Given ship surrounded by auxiliary boats in the Suez Canal.

Capella Space

An image from an Airbus Pleiades satellite gives a different angle of the ship as the “off nadir” view provides a more three-dimensional perspective of the Ever Given situation.

A satellite image shows the stranded container ship Ever Given after it ran aground in the Suez Canal in Egypt on March 25, 2021.

CNES Airbus DS | Reuters

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Robert Dunfee