Suez Canal Authority begins arrest procedures against MV Ever Given

Earlier, a shipping agency in Libya had also tweeted about the seizure of the vessel and crew by Egypt, but there has been no verification of the news.

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A satellite image showing the ship stuck in the Suez Canal. (Photo: PTI/AP)

Arrest procedures have been initiated against shipping vessel MV Ever Given, which had blocked Egypt's Suez Canal and crippled world trade for nearly a week.

The news was confirmed by a spokesperson of Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), the technical managers of the containership Ever Given.

"BSM has been informed by the vessel’s owner that the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) began arrest procedures against the vessel," a spokesperson told India Today.

Earlier, a shipping agency in Libya had also tweeted about the seizure of the vessel and crew by Egypt, but there has been no verification of the news.

"Egypt has formally arrested MV Ever Given container ship with a court order (issued by the Court of Ismailia City), pending a compensation payment of $900 million," MedWave Shipping Agency Libya said.

The CEO of BSM called the arrest procedures "disappointing" since the crew on board were cooperating with the investigations.

"The SCA’s decision to arrest the vessel is extremely disappointing. From the outset, BSM and the crew on board have cooperated fully with all authorities, including the SCA and their respective investigations into the grounding. This included granting access to the Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) and other materials and data requested by the SCA. BSM’s primary goal is a swift resolution to this matter that will allow the vessel and crew to depart the Suez Canal," said Ian Beveridge, CEO of BSM.

Currently, the vessel is anchored in Great Bitter Lake until an agreement is reached between the SCA and the vessel’s owner.

A crew of 25 Indian nationals remain aboard the vessel. "They are safe, in good health, and have been working closely with all parties involved to re-float the vessel. Their hard work and tireless professionalism are greatly appreciated," said a BSM statement.

Meanwhile, BSM confirmed to India Today that assessment by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) as the vessel's classification society, which included underwater inspection, has concluded.

"Based on these thorough inspections, the vessel has been declared suitable for onward passage to Port Said where she will be assessed again before departing for Rotterdam," said the BSM spokesperson.

However, the ship and the crew might not be able to sail further till the matter is settled with the SCA. The SCA has been trying for an out-of-court settlement by negotiating with the shipowners and other agencies.

On March 23, Ever Given ran aground while transiting through the Suez Canal en route to Rotterdam, Netherlands. Initial investigations suggest the vessel got stuck due to strong wind. The vessel was re-floated on March 29.

There have been no reports of pollution or cargo damage and initial investigation has ruled out mechanical or engine failure as a cause of the grounding, according to BSM.

READ: She’s free’: Giant ship blocking Suez Canal refloated, shipping traffic resumes

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