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Focus on Panama

Panama initiates investigation into Ever Given Suez Canal grounding

Photo: SCA SCA_Ever_Given2.jpg
A view from the deck of a vessel assisting with efforts to free Ever Given.
The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) has initiated an investigation of the events that occurred to the Panama-flagged Ever Given box ship in the Suez Canal, in order to determine the possible causes of its grounding, it said in a statement.

Preliminary reports indicate that the Ever Given, suffered engine problems that affected its manoeuvrability at approximately 0540 hrs (UTC) March 23 while transiting through the Suez Canal with two pilots on board, despite strong winds and a sandstorm. The reasons for the grounding have not yet been determined. So far there is no pollution or injuries, only some structural damage to the vessel.

Ever Given’s Technical Manager Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) has stated that “initial investigations rule out any mechanical or engine failure as a cause of the grounding."

The Ever Given is one of the largest container ships in the world, built in 2018. She is 400 metres in length, about 59 metres in width, 15.7 metres of draught and has a capacity of 20,388 teu. With these dimensions, the container walls act as sails and the vessel can be subject to gusts of wind, said the statement.

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