September 29, 2023

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The Suez Canal is not affected by the movement of ships after the collision of an oil tanker

The Suez Canal is not affected by the movement of ships after the collision of an oil tanker

CAIRO (Reuters) – Shipping traffic was flowing normally in Egypt’s Suez Canal on Wednesday, two shipping sources in Egypt said, after two tankers that collided earlier separated.

Ship-tracking firm MarineTraffic said early Wednesday, citing witnesses, that the two tankers, the Singapore-flagged LNG tanker BW Lesmes, and the Cayman Islands-flagged oil product tanker Borei, briefly collided in the canal.

The sources did not provide any other details about the incident.

However, the Egyptian channel Al-Qahera News, in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, quoted the head of the Suez Canal Authority, Osama Rabie, as saying that a ship that had broken down in the shipping lane had started towing, without giving further details.

By 5 a.m. (0200 GMT), the BW Lesmes was heading north but was being towed south by a tugboat, according to ship-tracking data on Refinitiv Eikon. Meanwhile, data showed that the Bree was anchored and heading south about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from the southern end of the canal.

A time lapse of the tracking map shared by MarineTraffic showed Burri swerving sideways and hitting the sideways BW Lesmes already at 2040 GMT before reversing and signaling straight.

The BW Group and TMS Tankers, which operate the Burri, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A person who answered the phone in the Suez Canal Authority’s operations room when contacted by Reuters said he could not provide any information about the tankers. He did not mention his name when asked. The authority has not issued an official statement yet.

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The Suez Canal is one of the busiest waterways in the world and the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

About 12% of world trade passes through the canal. During strong winds in 2021, a massive container ship, the Ever Given, wedged on top of it, halting traffic in both directions for six days and disrupting global trade.

(Reporting by Yousry Mohamed, Mohamed El-Gebali, Nafisa El-Taher, Inas El-Ashry and Florence Tan; Reporting by Mohamed El-Gebali; Reporting by Yousry Mohamed, Mohamed El-Gebali, Nafisa El-Taher, Enas El-Ashry and Florence Tan) Editing by Cynthia Ostermann and Christian Schmollinger

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