Suez Canal ship traffic reported normal after tanker collision
Singapore and Cayman Islands-flagged tankers reportedly separated after briefly colliding in the key trade conduit.
The Suez Canal is one of the world’s busiest shipping routes [File: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters]Published On 23 Aug 202323 Aug 2023
Shipping traffic is flowing normally on Egypt’s Suez Canal after two tankers that collided earlier were separated, according to shipping sources based in the country.
The two tankers, the Singapore-flagged liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier BW Lesmes and the Cayman Islands-flagged oil products tanker Burri, briefly collided in the canal, ship tracking company MarineTraffic said early on Wednesday citing eyewitnesses.
The sources did not provide any further details on the incident.
However, in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Egypt’s AlQahera News cited Suez Canal Authority Chairman Osama Rabie as saying that a ship that broke down in the navigation course was starting to be towed, without giving more details.
As of 5am (02:00 GMT), the BW Lesmes was facing north but being towed to the south by two tugboats, according to ship tracking data on Refinitiv Eikon. Meanwhile, the Burri was moored and pointing south about 12km (7.5 miles) from the southern end of the canal, the data showed.
A time-lapse of the tracking map shared by MarineTraffic showed the Burri turning sideways and colliding with an already sideways BW Lesmes at 20:40 GMT before backing up and pointing straight.
BW Group and TMS Tankers, which manages the Burri, did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent by the Reuters news agency.
A person who answered the phone at the Suez Canal Authority’s operations room when contacted by Reuters said he could not provide any information on the tankers. He did not give his name when asked. The Authority has not yet issued an official statement.
The Suez Canal is one of the world’s busiest waterways and the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
About 12 percent of the world’s trade moves through the canal.
During strong winds in 2021, a huge container ship, the Ever Given, became jammed across it, halting traffic in both directions for six days and disrupting global trade.