Another cargo ship was briefly grounded in the Suez Canal last week, leading momentarily to panic and wild speculation on social media.

The bulk carrier ‘Xin Hai Tong 23’ became the latest vessel to ground, before being floated within a couple of hours last Wednesday.  The Hong Kong flagged carrier was entering northbound before getting caught on the bank near Port Suez, and near to where the infamous Ever Given became wedged across the channel.

While the vessel is only 189m long, compared to the 400m Ever Given, it was still obstructing the median zone of maximum depth needed for larger vessels, which could have resulted in a serious blockage.

Marine ship trackers were showing live updates of the ship as “not under command” and positioned at an angle next to the canal’s eastern side, while surrounded by three Egyptian tugboats. Fortunately, those tug boats were able to free the vessel at around 7am local time.

The canal has seen a few near-misses in the last two years with each lighting up social media, parallels are inevitably drawn to the 2021 grounding of the Ever Given. Billions of dollars were lost globally during the week long blockage.

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