Almost 2 Weeks After Suez Canal Blockage, Ship Traffic Back To Normal

28 2021 shows tanker and freight ships near the entrance of the Suez Canal by Egypt's Red Sea port city of Suez. AFP

28 2021 shows tanker and freight ships near the entrance of the Suez Canal by Egypt's Red Sea port city of Suez. AFP

When the 200,000-tonne, Panama-flagged container ship ran aground at the Suez Canal on March 23, it choked off global trade, impacting trading nations, including New Zealand.

Marwa Elselehdar, 29, says she was working on the Aida IV, hundreds of miles away in Alexandria, when she realized online rumors were blaming her for the accident.

Photo taken in the Suez Canal in northeastern Egypt on March 29, 2021, shows the Ever Given, one of the world's largest container ships, refloated after it had blocked the channel for nearly a week, enabling the resumption of traffic in the crucial worldwide waterway.

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The fake image, purportedly from the Arab News outlet, appears to be from an actual story about Elselehdar from March 22 that was unrelated to Suez.

The canal offers a shortcut between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, saving vessels the incredibly long journey of sailing all the way around Africa. "First female Lloyd Arab captain involved in incident".

Hapag-Lloyd is a container ship company.

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Captain Marwa Elselehdar, who was honoured by a member of senate for her work in the martime field.

The blockage has been blamed for billions of dollars in global losses.

"I chose to focus on all the support and love I'm getting, and my anger turned to gratefulness", she said.

The canal is economically vital to Egypt, which lost between $12 million and $15 million in revenues for each day the waterway was closed, according to the canal authority. "It's my reputation, and I definitely don't want it damaged like this".

Ms Elselehdar is no stranger to challenges in her chosen field, with now only 2 per cent of the world's seafarers being female, according to the International Maritime Organisation. She graduated in 2013, the only woman in a class of 1,200. "But when you do what you love, it is not necessary for you to seek the approval of everyone".

The true identity of the ship's captain has not been made public, but Google searches now surface Ms Elselehdar's name, thanks to coverage of the fake article. "(MV) Ever Given have completed passage", SCA chief Osama Rabie said in a statement by the canal authority.

Rabie called the effort an "achievement that adds to the authority's ability to manage emergency situations and deal with crises".

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