Update on the situation …
An operation to free a giant container ship stuck in the Suez Canal is continuing, with warnings it could take days or even weeks.
The Ever Given, operated by the Taiwanese company Evergreen Marine, is the length of four football pitches and is lying across the southern end of the canal preventing other ships from getting through one of the world’s busiest waterways.
The ship is 400 metres (1,300ft) long, wedged diagonally across a canal not much more than 200 metres (656ft) wide.
Shipping traffic software shows five tugs around the ship. The company which manages the running of the vessel, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) has said up to nine are available for the operation.
Using cables or placing themselves directly alongside the stricken ship, the tug boats have been trying to move it off sand banks on both sides of the canal.
As it’s firmly grounded on both banks, all efforts to shift it so far have proved unsuccessful, says Sal Mercogliano, an expert in maritime history at Campbell University in the US.
BSM said an attempt to refloat the ship on Thursday morning had failed but that efforts using tugs would continue.