Maersk Emerald’ Briefly Grounds in Suez Canal, Scary Flashbacks of Ever Given

A 366-meter-long containership grounded in the Suez Canal on Friday, but was refloated and ship traffic was able to continue through the waterway.
The ship is identified as the 366-meter-long Maersk Emerald, registered in Singapore.

Leth Agencies, which offers transit services in the Suez Canal, reported on Twitter that the ship grounded at kilometer 98, on the northern end of the canal, after experiencing engine trouble. It was transiting as part of a southbound convoy and was number five in line. The vessel was refloated within a matter of hours and ship traffic was able to resume as normal.

The Suez Canal Authority has since confirmed the incident, reporting that four tugs were used to refloat the vessel. The SCA notes that the ship was transiting in the northern end of the “new” Suez Canal, where there are two lanes of traffic, so impacts from the incident were minimal.

Maersk has also now confirmed the incident in an emailed statement:
“We hereby confirm that Maersk Emerald has been refloated and will be anchored at Great Bitter Lake, part of the Suez Canal, to proceed with the investigation about the causes that brought her to run aground on May 28th.

“Built in 2012, she is a TC* vessel with Singapore flag that navigated southbound in the moment she stranded. All crew members are safe,” the statement said.

AIS ship tracking data shows the ship has now arrived at the Great Bitter Lake, where it is reportedly awaiting an inspection.

The Suez Canal Authority head, Osama Rabea, said the incident shows that the waterway has adequate capacity to handle such situations, as well as highlights the importance of having two lanes of traffic. Nevertheless, the incident sparks flashbacks of the Ever Given grounding which halted traffic through the canal for nearly a week back in March, creating global disruptions.

Maersk Emerald has a TEU capacity of a little over 13,000 twenty-foot equivalent containers (TEU), making it slightly smaller than Ever Given, but still very big.

In the aftermath of the Ever Given incident (which by the way remains held by the Suez Canal Authority over compensation), the Suez Canal has begon dredging work to widen and deepen the southern end where there is currently only one lane for ships to transit.

Mr Mike Schuler

Photo:Bjoern Wylezich /