Big as a mountain but without brakes, this is how giant ships have crossed the Suez Canal for decades

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2021-03-29 12:01:54

Container ship or cruise ship strongly impresses by its size. They are no different from floating cities, roaming the oceans and providing the world’s most essential services, from luxury travel to toilet paper rolls. However, super ships are the hottest topic of the past week when a super ship crashed and blocked the Suez Canal and the trade flow worth 400 million USD / hour, equivalent to about 10 billion USD / day.

Ever Given, I am as long as the Empire State building is placed horizontally, is blocking the flow of the artery. Part of the bow was trapped in the rocky shore of the canal, and all attempts to rescue it were at a dead end. It is said that a strong winds of nearly 80km / h and low visibility caused by sandstorms were the cause of the incident.

However, this incident is still considered rare, especially with an average of 106 container ships and cruise ships moving through the canal every day, but there have been no similar accidents in decades. . The canal management team has rules and a professional team to make sure ships “paddle cool” through the canal and the captains understand better than anyone else about passing ships through narrow water.

  Big as a mountain but without brakes, this was how giant ships crossed the Suez Canal for decades - Photo 2.

Captain Yash Gupta, a seafarer, says the wind is a real threat to container ships. The fact that the metal barrels were stacked gave them a dizzying and stable height. Meanwhile, the ship floats on the water, causing them to suffer the impact of greater wind. There is no way to brake those “floating cities” like braking a car.

Although the most modern technology has been applied, a container ship running at top speed takes about 1.8 miles and 14 to 16 minutes to stop. When they cross the Suez Canal, they usually travel at a slow speed, so it takes about 12 to 16 hours to cross the canal. Nobody is allowed to go fast here because not being able to keep your distance from the train ahead would be a catastrophic disaster.

In addition, at least one navigator of the Suez Canal Management Company will always accompany the ships. They are well trained and experienced in guiding ships passing through this narrow but extremely important canal. Even so, the pilot is just a support person. The main responsibility is still the captain’s.

In fact, although ships are allowed to pass each other over wide distances of the canal, that is unlikely to happen. Pilots also regularly keep in contact with each other to allow for passing ships. Then one boat will slow down and the other will speed up with the help of pilots, who know the terrain, tides and other elements of the canal.

In addition, the management team has a large radar system and navigation equipment, allowing to track the movements of all ships. They are the moderators of the channel. In addition, a powerful team of tugboats is used to support giant ships crossing the canal.

  Big as a mountain but without brakes, this is how giant ships crossed the Suez Canal for decades - Photo 3.

“There are areas in the canal that are narrower than the rest. Tug boats are often used as escorts to get large ships through these bottlenecks. They are parallel to giant ships and ready to intervene when any problem arises “, Captain Gupta said.

However, even when the captains have specifically planned their journey to cross the canal, danger is still present. They are beyond human control.

“In Suez, one of the main hazards is sandstorms. They come very quickly and without warning. Strong winds carry a large amount of sand and significantly impair visibility,” said captain David Bathgate of the super. Seabourn Cruise Line cruise ship shared. “The taller the ship, the more susceptible to wind damage”.

Although cruise ships have always been “given priority” over the Suez Canal or other busy shipping routes, queues are still a common occurrence. When passing through the Suez Canal, many pilots will board to assist. However, like container ships, cruise ships also need a certain amount of time to stop.

While the captains and crew straddled the canal, passengers were delighted when the super cruise ships crossed the canal. There are experiences they cannot have anywhere else when the giant ship is traveling in the desert if viewed from the deck tens of meters high. Sometimes, white clouds suddenly swoop down, leaving your visibility only a few meters away.

Pam Broadhead, a 2019 canal tourist, recounted a one-of-a-kind experience: “Our ship was the first to pass through the Suez Canal early in the morning, so the crew informed everyone. People go on deck to watch the sunrise. Guests can drink coffee, eat croissants while looking at the sunrise at the horizon.

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