Oil tanker refloated after running aground in Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority

An aerial view of the Gulf of Suez and the Suez Canal is pictured through an airplane window during a flight from Cairo to Doha, Egypt November 27, 2021. REUTERS/AMR Abdallah Dalsh

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CAIRO, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Tugboats rescued a tanker that briefly ran aground in Egypt’s Suez Canal on Wednesday night due to a technical problem with its rudder, the Suez Canal Authority said. (SCA).

The ship, Affinity V, had blocked the southern section of the canal, two shipping sources said, but SCA sources said shortly after midnight local time traffic had returned to normal.

The incident happened in the same single-track southern stretch of the canal where a giant freighter, the Ever Given, ran aground for six days in March 2021, disrupting global trade.

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According to vessel monitoring service TankerTrackers, the Aframax Affinity V tanker appears to have lost control in the Suez Canal on Wednesday evening as it headed south.

“It has temporarily blocked traffic and is facing south again, but is moving slowly with tug assistance,” TankerTrackers said on Twitter.

Refinitiv ship tracking data and the Marine Traffic website also showed the Affinity V was facing south and moving slowly through the channel, surrounded by tugs.

The Singapore-flagged tanker was heading for the Red Sea port of Yanbu in Saudi Arabia, tracking sites said.

After the grounding of the Ever Given, the SCA had announced accelerated plans for the expansion of the channel, including the extension of a second channel which allows shipping to pass in both directions along part of its route and the deepening of an existing channel.

The expansion work is expected to be completed in 2023.

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Reporting by Yousri Mohamed, Yasmin Hussein, Yomna Ehab and Nafisa Eltahir; Written by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Mark Porter, Christian Schmollinger and Himani Sarkar

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