CAIRO (Sputnik) – Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie has refuted reports that the crew of the Ever Given cargo ship, which made headlines last month when it completely blocked the waterway for several days, was barred from leaving the vessel.
“The head of the canal authority explained that it does not prevent the crew from leaving the container ship or being replaced so that the vessel has enough crew members to operate, provided that the captain remains aboard … as well as the cargo”, the authority said in a statement, adding that the reports about the crew being under arrest do not correspond with the reality.
Earlier in the month, a court in the Egyptian city of Ismailia ruled to seize the cargo ship until the owner pays $900 million in compensation. Ever Given currently remains anchored in the Great Bitter Lake area, which is the widest section of the canal, with its 23-strong crew aboard. The situation led to the circulation of reports about the crew possibly facing arrest.
The 1,300-feet container ship Ever Given, operated by a Taiwanese firm, ran aground in the Suez Canal on March 23. After days of dredging and towing efforts, it was fully refloated on March 29, unblocking the vital trade link between Europe and Asia.