Suez Canal Authority says 321 ships held up

Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Chairman Osama Rabie said he hoped it would not be necessary to resort to removing some of the 18,300 containers from the ship to lighten its load, but that strong tides and winds were complicating efforts to free it.

He added that the cause of the incident is still under investigation.

Rabie also confirmed that there are 321 ships are queuing to use the waterway and the authorities are providing necessities that the crews ask for.

The 400-metre (430-yard) long Ever Given became wedged diagonally across a southern section of the canal amid high winds early on Tuesday (March 23), disrupting global shipping by blocking one of the world's busiest waterways.

About 15% of world shipping traffic transits the canal, and hundreds of vessels are waiting to pass through the waterway once the blockage has been cleared.