Watch them try to free the Ever Given in real time

March 29, 2021 • 8:30 am

If you click on the screenshot below, you should be able to zero in on the Suez Canal at the linked site and see where the hapless container ship is stuck—and also watch tugboats try to free her (as icons) in real time The icons move about as the tugs and other ships fuss and fidget.

If you don’t see it, go to the “vessels” function at upper left, put in “Ever Given” for the name, and then click the three vertical dots at the right to go to “show on live map.”

Every few minutes the map updates the position, course, and speed of all the vessels involved. You might get fixated!

Will they free her this week? I’m not counting on it. Howevr, this morning’s New York Times reports that the Ever Given has been “wrenched from the shoreline”, is partly afloat, and may indeed be freed soon.

This is a screen shot from abut 7 a.m. Chicago time.

Here’s the traffic jam south of the ship. I’ve put an arrow by the Ever Given:

h/t: Stash Krod

20 thoughts on “Watch them try to free the Ever Given in real time

  1. What I’ve wondered through this whole farcical affair is, who get the bill for the rescue (or whatever it is) effort, plus fines for the hundreds of $$$ millions (or maybe the $$$$$billions) in costs in lost trade involved? Who pays for this mess?

    1. Well, the owners of the ship has an insurer. The Suez Canal management organization probably has an insurer too. Sucks to be them right now. Though likely those insurance corporations have reinsurance in turn, just for cases like this where they get stuck with a catastrophic payoff they can’t make. So the cost for the event is going to be spread out across all of these.

      More short-term, the canal company could just temporarily up the fee to use the canal to pay for the extra expenses they incurred in freeing the ship.

      And of course the ships that are going around Africa now will also likely call their insurance brokers, or pass the extra shipping costs (I heard $26,000/day/ship in fuel!) on to the people owning/buying the shipped goods. Eventually…us.

      1. Funny that… the buck really does stop here, with the poor consumer, eh? *Somewhere* along the line, maybe some liability will be assigned and financial penalties imposed, but you can bet that —whoever was at fault and shells out in the short run—in the end, it’s the sucker in the the checkout line who winds up picking up the check…

      2. I would be moderately surprised if the SCA only offer passage on a “best efforts” basis, and have an exclusion for “unforeseen events” in the contract. I’d be astonished of all the involved insurance companies didn’t have “act of God” (or Insh’Allah) clauses to limit their liability. They’re insurance companies – they think like that. Then start to draft their contracts. Remember, this isn’t the first blockage in the Suez canal, just the most recent one. It’s what – 6 years since the last one, which only lasted a few hours but laid down a marker for those willing to read the warning.
        In the near term, the salvor’s fees costs will be coming out of their pocket – with material assistance in kind coming from SCA.
        If there were any heavy duty tugs in the queues in transit in either direction, they’d have picked up a nice spot market contract which would more than cover any penalty causes for whatever contract they were on their way to.
        Most of the shipping contracts would also have “act of God” clauses, so the costs of this will get passed down the line fairly rapidly to the customers. It’s generally not worth wasting lawyer-food on. If the customer is really angry, you can always enter negotiations with an alternative carrier. And find that they won’t sign a contract that leaves them liable to incidents like this.
        Shipping is inherently uncertain. Like aviation. And trains. And roads.

  2. I think it’s one of the Adams Dirk Gently novels, where the main character has a program running on his computer showing trying to get a bed or couch up the stairs, but in the program it’s stuck, and keeps shifting back and forth to get unstuck. Reminds me of that.

    1. It’s pretty scary, actually, to think that world trade depends so much on the Suez and Panama canals. They’d be easy targets for ICBMs in another war. In her book Taste of War: World War II and the Battle for Food, Lizzie Collingham talks about how much shipping was freed up when the Mediterranean was opened up, and ships could go through Suez again.

      1. Of course, it was also closed for exactly eight years between 5 June 1967 and 5 June 1975 as part of the fallout from the Six-Day War.

        1. I’m frankly unsurprised that the unsuccessful attempts haven’t been publicised.
          I remember the lack of astonishment about the SBS’s exercises at removing people like GreenPeacers from oil rigs, in the mid-90s. The black-balaclava brigade seemed to know their way around various installations … almost as if they had spent years working on that very installation in the preceding few months.
          Strange how various people with Irish connections didn’t get particular, “sensitive” jobs. Astonishing, that. If you only knew about one event on your installation, it wouldn’t be a pattern. If you heard “odd that” news from dozens of installations, you can’t avoid seeing a pattern.
          Paragons of open government like Egypt would no more consider keeping an unsuccessful terrorist attack secret, than the UK government would keep it secret that they’d assigned on duty undercover police to use anti-terrorist laws against political organisations like GreenPeace.

      2. If you’re launching a war for global domination (fast!) … how much benefit is there from destroying the infrastructure of the globe you want to dominate?
        Do you remember the terror-advertising for neutron bombs – how we’d be able to kill the East Germans, Poles and Russians in huge numbers, but not destroy their cities, factories and communications infrastructure? (Obviously you don’t humanise them by giving them names – they’re just the infidel faceless “other”.)
        At least that makes a degree of sense – we could re-populate the sterilised countries a lot faster than we could rebuild their infrastructure. Just double the tax and feeding costs for single children – you’d soon get abundant sprogs churned out by the proverbial “untrained workforce”. Highly efficient agriculture could quickly replace the livestock – with a 2-4 year turnover at most, the human livestock would take much longer.

    1. but the canal won’t be opening straight away:

      Well, they’ve spent most of a week digging holes in the bank. And (probably more importantly) gouging lumps out of the canal bed with a dredger intended to operate at a few knots speed along the canal, not focussed on one point.
      Of course, they could have a mad rush (in convoys, alternating direction) past the EG, with the wash of bow waves emphasising the defects in the banks until they have to have several months closure to re-dredge that entire section … but they’re probably wise to that since the convoys have been operating on controlled speeds since the last period of expansion.
      Longer term, they’re going to have to “dual-seaway” the remaining sections of single-seaway. But they’ve been working on that for a over a decade already. The cost of doing that would be happily paid by the rest of the global economy to reduce the uncertainty of events like this. They’re between a third and a half of the way to that end.

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