A huge container ship lodged in the Suez Canal for almost a week has been refloated and ‘turned in the right direction’.

Canal and marine services firms confirmed in the early hours of Monday that the MV Ever Given has started to move – but did not provide further details about when the vessel would be set free.

Inchcape confirmed in a tweet: ‘The MV Ever Given was successfully re-floated at 04:30. She is being secured at the moment. More information about next steps will follow once they are known.’ 

Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) confirmed the position of the ship has now been ‘reorientated 80% percent in the right direction’.

SCA’s Chief Osama Rabie said in a statement that the stern has moved to 102 metres (335 feet) from the shore, compared to its previous position of four metres.

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The rescue mission was ramped up on Sunday as two extra tugboats were drafted in to open up the Egyptian canal ramp which has been blocked since Tuesday, sparking a global trading crisis.

Leth Agencies said the breakthrough came following intensive efforts to push and pull the MV Ever Given with around 10 tugboats, while vacuuming up sand underneath the ship with several dredgers at high tide.

Efforts are set to continue today as more than 320 ships wait to use the vital waterway, as major shipping firms increasingly divert their boats around the southern tip of Africa out of fear of prolonged delays.

The Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned cargo ship got stuck in a single-lane stretch of the canal on Tuesday meaning traffic – valued at more than 9 billion US dollars (£6.5 billion) a day – has been halted.

More to follow…

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