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Update: Grounded bulker blocking Suez Canal successfully refloated

Image: Marine Traffic Screenshot Ship stuck in Suez Canal
A Hong Kong-flagged bulker that grounded in the Suez Canal blocking the key waterway for several hours on Thursday morning has been successfully refloated.

Leth Agencies posted on Twitter that the bulk Xin Hai Tong 23 had grounded at the 159 km mark on the canal at 0400 hrs local time. In a second tweet a few hours later the  agency said that tugs from the Suez Canal Authority had been able to successfully refloat the vessel at 0740hrs.

It was reported that a convoy of four vessels was stuck behind the stricken bulker and an ordinary group was set to enter the canal at 0600 hrs. Leth Agencies said that following the refloating of the Xin Hai Tong 23 a northbound convoy was due to enter at 0930hrs.

The Xin Hai Tong 23 is a 2010-built, 56,708 dwt bulker and flagged with Hong Kong.

The vessel has grounded in a narrow section of the Suez Canal and MarineTraffic shows it stranded diagonally across the waterway in similar way to the containership Ever Given which closed the canal for six days when it grounded in March 2021.

The Ever Given grounding caused chaos to the global supply chain, however, the Xin Hai Tong 23 is a significantly smaller vessel than the 199,000 dwt mega-containership and far less complex to refloat.