MSC-ISTANBUL re-floats again in the Suez Canal

Ahram Online , Sunday 5 Mar 2023

Suez Canal Authority (SCA) announced Monday evening that tugboats succeeded in refloating the MSC-ISTANBUL cargo vessel after being stranded for a couple of hours in the Suez Canal.

Location of MSC ISTANBUL
Location of MSC ISTANBUL in Suez Canal on Sunday from


According to SCA Spokesperson George Safwat, MSC-ISTANBUL went aground in the 78 km of the Suez Canal while crossing it from the south to the North on Monday. Four tugboats were immediately sent to refloat it.

The tugboats are Port Said, Mosaed I, Mosaed 2 and Mosaed 5.

The SCA spokesperson added that tugboat Baraka 1 was standing by to participate as well in the refloating operations.

For his part, CEO of the SCA Osama Rabei stated that navigation in the Suez Canal was not affected by what happened and that all ships coming from the North passed normally.

Ships coming from the south were, however, rerouted from the West canal to the East canal, he said. 

Rabei added that the SCA owned enough expertise to deal with emergency situations professionally.

MSC-ISTANBUL is a container ship that sails under the flag of Liberia.

The 2015-built cargo vessel was on its way from Malaysia to Portugal when it broke down. 

Suez Canal revenues hit a record of $8 billion in 2022, up from $6.3 billion in 2021, according to the SCA.

The SCA published in late January an infograph comparing the navigation statistics in the Suez Canal between 2008-2014 and 2016-2022 -- before and after the inauguration of the New Suez Canal project that established a parallel path to the original.

Total revenues recorded $41.7 billion in the seven years after the operation of the new canal, up from $35.4 billion between 2008 and 2014, making an increase of 17.8 percent, the SCA continued.

The international waterway achieved in January 2023 the highest monthly revenue in its history, reaching $802 million, surpassing the record achieved in August 2022 by $56.4 million.

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