Suez Canal ship traffic unaffected after tanker collision
CAIRO — Shipping traffic was flowing normally on Egypt’s Suez Canal on Wednesday, two shipping sources based in the country said, after two tankers that collided earlier were separated.
The two tankers, the Singapore-flagged liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier BW Lesmes and the Cayman Islands-flagged oil products tanker Burri, briefly collided in the canal, ship tracking company MarineTraffic said early on Wednesday citing eyewitnesses.
The sources did not provide any further details on the incident.
However, in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Egypt’s AlQahera News cited Suez Canal Authority Chairman Osama Rabie as saying that a ship that broke down in the navigation course was starting to be towed, without giving more details.
As of 5 a.m. (0200 GMT), the BW Lesmes was facing north but being towed to the south by two tugboats, according to ship tracking data on Refinitiv Eikon. Meanwhile, the Burri was moored and pointing south about 12 km (7.5 miles) from the southern end of the canal, the data showed.
A time lapse of the tracking map shared by MarineTraffic showed the Burri turning sideways and colliding with an already sideways BW Lesmes at 2040 GMT before backing up and pointing straight.
BW Group and TMS Tankers, which manages the Burri, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A person who answered the phone at the Suez Canal Authority’s operations room when contacted by Reuters said he could not provide any information on the tankers. He did not give his name when asked. The Authority has not yet issued an official statement.
The Suez Canal is one of the world’s busiest waterways and the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
About 12% of the world’s trade moves through the canal. During strong winds in 2021, a huge container ship, the Ever Given, became jammed across it, halting traffic in both directions for six days and disrupting global trade.