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Suez Canal Authority announces latest developments of sunken tugboat

The sunken tugboat “Fahd”, belonging to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), languished in the bottom of Suez Canal for several hours since Saturday afternoon, following a collision with the tanker “CHINAGAS LEGEND” at Kilometer 51 (Suze Canal Marking) in al-Ballah area.

Rescue efforts succeeded in recovering six of the tugboat’s crew, while the head of the SCA Osama Rabie announced the death of a missing crewman by drowning.

The official statement issued by the SCA included details of the process to recover the tugboat by the “Enkaz” crane, and the evacuation of the canal’s navigational course on Sunday.

Rabie announced that the regulation of navigation in the canal involves the prioritization of entry from both directions, in a manner that guarantees the conduct of rescue work and does not impede navigation.

He noted that on Sunday that 38 ships from the north direction crossed with a total tonnage of 2.6 million tons, while in the evening 45 ships crossed from the south direction in the new navigational channel of the canal, with a total tonnage of 2.7 million tons.

According to Rabie, diving work is underway at a depth of 24 meters through successive groups of marine rescue teams, which will continue until the process of attaching the sunken tugboat is completed with crane wires.

This process requires high accuracy and sufficient time, as it takes about an hour and a half to connect one wire to each of the eight wires of the Enkaz crane – which has a total length of 60.9 meters, a width of 26.6 meters, with a load of 500 tons, and is used in lifting, lowering marine units and in floating and recovering sunken offshore units.

Rabie explained that the work of connecting the sunken tugboat with the crane wires is scheduled to be completed within the coming hours, and immediately after that lifting and removing the sunken tugboat will begin.

It will then be transported to the al-Ballah area in the Suez Canal.

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