The Ever Given container ship was reportedly travelling faster than Suez Canal speed limit before running aground

  • The Ever Given’s speed was 13.5 knots before it ran aground, The Japan Times reported.
  • Bloomberg reported the Suez Canal speed limit was between 7.6 knots and 8.6 knots.
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Moments before it ran aground, the Ever Given was apparently travelling faster than a speed limit set by the Suez Canal Authority, Bloomberg reported.

The Ever Given’s last recorded speed was 13.5 knots, logged 12 minutes before it grounded, according to Bloomberg, which cited its own data. The maximum allowed speed through the canal was between 7.6 knots and 8.6 knots, the report said. 

The Japan Times also reported the ship was travelling 13.5 knots, adding that two canal pilots were onboard when the ship hit land. 

The Ever Given didn’t have a tugboat escort through the canal, according to Bloomberg. The two ships immediately ahead of it reportedly had escorts, although such escorts were not required. 

The 1,300-foot container ship ran aground early Tuesday morning amid high winds and a dust storm. Apparently, at least one ship decided to wait until the wind subsided to make the canal trip. 

“Initial investigations suggest the vessel grounded due to strong wind,” Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the ship’s technical manager, said in a statement. 

The company said its “initial investigations rule out any mechanical or engine failure as a cause of the grounding.”

One ship captain unaffiliated with the grounding spoke with Bloomberg. Chris Cillard, the captain, told Bloomberg ships sometimes speed up as a way to better control their vessels during wind storms. “Speeding up to a certain point is effective.”

He added: “More than that and it becomes counter-effective because the bow will get sucked down deep into the water. Then, adding too much power does nothing but exacerbate the problem.”

The Suez Canal Authority said in a statement on Thursday that eight large tugboats were working to refloat the vessel. 


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