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Emma Maersk returning to service

Emma Maersk returning to service
The Emma Maersk is set to return to the Asia-Europe trade on 18 July, five months after it was left holed and without power at the entrance to the Suez canal.

Maersk has revealed more details of the dramatic events that took place at the start of February. The 15,550 teu ship started taking on water early in the morning of 1 February and was forced to make a sharp turn into the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT). 

The ships rear port propeller had torn loose, punching a hole in the hull. "Sea water was entering the vessel at a pace of almost a ton and a half per second," said the vessel's chief engineer, Michael Sort, in Maersk Post.

With the engine out and power failing, the anchors had to be dropped at the right time to clear the canal without crashing into SCCT, a manoeuvre the crew managed to pull off with a helping wind.

Recalling making the sharp turn into the SCCT, Captain Gardastuvo said, "I have worked with that specific port in simulators, and all experience shows that coming from the north and turning in there just cannot be done with a vessel of Emma's size. But that night, we did it."

The hole in the ship was repaired at the quayside at SCCT, readying the vessel for towing to Fincantieri's Pallermo yard where extensive repairs and subsequent trials were carried out.

Emma Maersk returns to the AE10 service just three days after the world's current largest container ship, the 18,270 teu Maersk McKinney Moller, joins the same service.

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