Article

Suez Canal chief hints ‘mistake’ by captain could be linked to Ever Given incident


published on 14 April 2021 2766 -

Photo by Suez Canal Authority

The chairman of the Suez Canal Authority has suggested a possible mistake by the captain of the Ever Given could have led to the grounding of the giant container ship in the waterway last month.

After the grounding incident, the canal authority is pondering modifications to its physical operations. Recently, the Suez Canal received the largest dredger in all of middle-east: Mohab Mamish, onboard the heavy transport vessel Xiang Rui Kou.

They are including larger salvage tugs, bigger cranes, and the widening of the narrow southern section of the canal. On the other hand, SCA authorities deny bearing any responsibility for the grounding, with Lt. Gen. Rabie speculating that the vessel's master may be to blame recently.

He said, “Maybe the captain made a mistake in a specific request, such as the rudder or speed, which could have led to that. Even when orders are issued by the guide [pilot], the captain has the right to change them or use any route or speed other than what the guide says. There was no error or responsibility on the part of the [SCA]"

Right now, investigations are underway into the incident. Egyptian authorities have retrieved data from the EVER GIVEN's VDR, and are examining the evidence currently.

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Capt. Daniel Cwirko Poland
on 21 May 2021, 06:14 UTC

I'm afraid Master's are sadly scape goats of the maritime industry as it is most convenient (and beneficial?) for all parties to just blame the Master. It's about time for the industry to realize shipping is a complicated buisness and many parties share responsibilities. Why not to blame the pilot (advisor - what he was doing on board? Is he only coming to collect Marlboro?), Suez Canal Authorities (for allowing the transit in bad weather), owner/operator (commercial pressure), etc? Too complicated and too expensive. Blame the Captain and problem solved. Insurance will pay the money and everybody will be happy. Interestingly SCA by taking actions to prevent similar incidents in the furure admitted they feel guilty. And they rightly should. It's also time to held pilots accountable. It can (and some would say must) be done - Panama Canal is great example here.
2

Captain Robert de Roos Loodswezen Rotterdam - Rijnmond, Netherlands
on 16 April 2021, 11:23 UTC

Agree with Wade Armstrong: Training, training and training, theoretical and on the simulator.
Secondly special restrictions for passage should be considered. If not, it will just happen again.
1

Captain Wade Armstrong Hawaii Pilots' Association, USA
on 15 April 2021, 07:41 UTC

Of course the Suez Canal Authority would try to blame the Master. The Suez Canal Pilot almost certainly had the conn, and was primarily responsible for the grounding.
4

A community member on 14 April 2021, 14:16 UTC

This comment has been removed.

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