Ever Geffen holds the record for failure or human error. From March 23 to March 29, a large ship closed the Suez Canal near its southern end, sparking great interest in the world. Officially, the cause of the accident was a strong wind blowing it towards the right side of the ship Educational cycle And prevent effective control.
Ships with session problems
Similar incidents have occurred several times over the past two decades. The last time was in 2017, when the Japanese container ship OOCL Japan, similar in size to Ever Given, suffered a mechanical failure and was also stuck in the canal. However, the siege lasted only a few hours as the ship was pulled from shallow water by Egyptian tugs.
In 2006, the Hong Kong-flagged tanker Okal King Dor faced strong winds during a sandstorm. As a result, it was pushed off course and fell into shallow waters on the shore, from which it was pulled out after about eight hours.
In 2004, navigation in the canal was banned for three days, when the Japanese tanker Tropic Brilliance, due to a steering failure, landed in shallow waters near the shore. It was released only after a large portion of the load had been pumped out. In 2004, this incident was described as the first cargo blockage on the Suez Canal in nearly 30 years. The 1980s and 1990s were exceptionally successful, unlike previous decades.
Disturbance when changing owners
The period from the end of World War II to the mid-1970s was the worst for the operation of the Suez Canal, as it was the result of major changes in this region. Decolonization, the withdrawal of Western powers and the rise of Arab and Israeli nationalism. Previously, the British guaranteed uninterrupted traffic through the Suez Canal, who, in essence, annexed Egypt at the end of the nineteenth century, taking it away from the declining Ottoman Empire. Obviously, world wars have restricted traffic, but not due to a physical blockage of the canal.
It wasn’t until 1956 that a major siege occurred for the first time. In June of this year, the British army withdrew from the immediate vicinity of the canal, thereby leaving Egypt completely and granting the Egyptians full control over the infrastructure, provided that the existing rules for its operation are respected. However, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, a firm nationalist, was reluctant to engage with Western powers and chose the path of rapprochement with the Soviet Union. Relations with the West rapidly deteriorated, and only a month and a half after the British withdrew, the nationalization of the Suez Canal was announced.
London and Paris did not want to go beyond the matter, because it not only meant financial losses for their citizens, but also a blow to their prestige and their position in the region. Therefore, the British and the French agreed with the Israelis to launch an armed attack on Egypt. The latter was the first to take action, thanks to which the forces were able to pretend that they only wanted to protect the canal from the Egyptian-Israeli war. The military objectives were quickly achieved, but the political goals were not met. The retreating Egyptians succeeded in closing the canal, sinking a number of ships into it and destroying the infrastructure. The invasion caused worldwide condemnation. However, the main factor was the attitude of the Americans, who saw the invasion as a fundamental mistake that would push the Arab world into the arms of the Soviet Union. So they forced the French and British to withdraw in late December 1956.
Nasser prevailed, and the channel remained Egyptian. However, it remained banned from the end of October 1956 to the end of April 1957. It took nearly five months to clear the wrecks, mines, and repair other damages. The Egyptians were assisted by members of the United Nations Mission (UNEF), whose main mission was to oversee the ceasefire and the withdrawal of British and French-Israeli forces.
Six years on the front line
There was relative peace over the next ten years, and sailing proceeded almost naturally. Except for Israeli ships, which could not even risk approaching the Egyptian coast. Another siege, really dangerous this time, began in 1967. Nasser, who had been prominently reinforced in the past decade with Soviet weapons and advisors, felt a strong position toward Israel and the world. In May, he announced the closure of the Straits of Tiran, between the Sinai and the Arabian Peninsula, to ships bound for Israel. In this way, he prevented the Israelis from reaching the main port of Iliaka, through which almost all of it was transported Clothes Consumed by the Israelis. He also ordered the UN forces to leave Egypt, in theory to ensure that such a blockade would not occur.
Among other things, this convinced the Israeli government to launch a surprise attack on its Arab neighbors. On June 5, 1967, the Six Day War broke out, in which the Israelis defeated the Egyptian-Jordanian-Syrian forces, including reaching the Suez Canal and even crossing it in many places. Over the next six years, this major waterway became a ceasefire line. The Israelis stood on the East Bank and the Egyptians on the West Bank. Both sides regularly built fortifications and skirmishes. There were many debris and mines in the canal itself. Even if they were removed, no ship owner would send their ships and crews on a human-free road trip between two extremely hostile forces.
The attack of the Israelis did not surprise the Egyptians alone. When the Israeli aircraft arrived and began bombing Egyptian military positions near the canal and infrastructure, a convoy of 15 ships was sailing. Including two Polish companies, M / S Jakarta and M / S Bolesław Bierut. And all units remained trapped in the canal for eight years. Except for one, they were all at the time on Great Bitter Lake, part of the canal near its southern end. Over time, the sandstorms covered it with a layer of yellowish dust, which was dubbed the “Yellow Fleet.” The crews of the besieged ships formed an international community. Joint meetings, watching movies, sports competitions, or even special “Olympic Games” were organized in 1968. Sailors even created their own postal system and produced stamps that were recognized by Egypt.
The suspension lasted until 1973. During these six years, the Soviet Union armed Egypt and Syria by force so that they could retaliate against Israel. The attack took place on the important Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur on November 6, 1973. At first, Arab forces were extremely successful, including successfully crossing the canal and pushing the Israelis deeper into the Sinai. But the Israeli army once again turned out to be the best. Within two weeks of the bloody conflict, she stopped the attackers and proceeded to counterattack, reaching and crossing the canal in one place. The defeated Arabs agreed to a cease-fire.
The bloody war made the Egyptian and Israeli leadership realize that this cannot continue. Over the next five years, with great support United States of AmericaThere has been a revolution in the relations between the two parties and their normalization. It also meant the normalization of the Suez Canal. In the name of the agreement, the Israelis agreed to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula. The canal was again in the hands of the Egyptians. With great help from the American fleet, they were able to mine and clean it of the various debris and debris that had been lying in it for years. In 1975, even before the final peace agreement was signed with Israel at Camp David, the first convoy officially set off through the Suez Canal. At the head of the Egyptian destroyer was the second president of independent Egypt, Anwar Sadat (Nasser died in 1970).
By that time, the ships of the Yellow Fleet had deteriorated so much that only two of the German ships were able to continue their journey on their own. Their arrival in Hamburg gathered crowds. The rest, which had been inhabited for years by reduced skeleton crews, required the help of locomotives.
The Suez Canal has been operating since its reopening in 1975 without major disruptions. Except for the occasional ship deviating from its course.