Moment Suez Canal ship veered out of control and smashed into banks caught on satellite as vessel could be freed today

THIS is the moment that the Ever Given container ship veered out of control and smashed into the banks of the Suez Canal five days ago.

Maritime tracking technology has simulated the moment the cargo carrier got wedged in the Canal and halted the global trade route.

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Two attempts to help the 1,300ft-long container ship move along have already failed – but experts say the vessel could be freed TODAY.

The vessel's Japanese owner, Yukito Higaki, president of Shoei Kisen, told a news conference that 10 tugboats had been deployed to dredge the banks and canal bottom.

He added that the crews were hoping to dislodge the ship as early as Saturday.

And an official at the Suez Canal Authority said they were planning to make at least two attempts today to free the vessel when the tide drops. 

High winds are understood to have blown the ship across the narrow canal, that runs between Africa and the Sinai Peninsula.

A video from Vessel Finder recreating the crash by using the ship's onboard tracker shows the moment it veered to port – before suddenly going hard to starboard and hitting the banks.

It ran aground about 3.7 miles north of the southern entrance, near the city of Suez, and forced boats astern to grind to a halt. 

Meanwhile, rescue teams have unveiled their latest weapon in the battle to free the grounded mega-ship — a giant vacuum cleaner.

A day after they sent a lone digger to shift the 200,000-tonne Ever Given, suction dredger Mashhour has been called in.

It can hoover up 2,000 cubic metres of material an hour, raising hopes that the giant cargo vessel can be freed from the Suez Canal.

Rescuers hope it can shift enough material to let them try to refloat the ship.

The Ever Given got stuck on Tuesday when it lost control in a 30mph sand storm and ended up wedged diagonally across the vital Egyptian waterway.

Now, £7billion of goods on at least 248 vessels are stuck behind it.

Army digger drivers are now working around the clock clawing at the bank where the ship is embedded.

They need to excavate a 50-to-60ft chasm beneath the grounded bow and stern of the stranded 400m vessel.

By last night 17,000 cubic metres of sand had been moved and work was said to be 87 per cent complete.

Mashhour was in position yards from the Ever Given dredging at a depth of about 50ft. A first attempt to refloat her failed yesterday.

Rescuers hope enough material can be shifted to allow water to flood in at high tide today and lift the quarter-mile-long container ship back into the canal.

Tugs are on stand-by to pull her free but the two most powerful are not likely to arrive in time.

And the mission may still take weeks to complete if hundreds of containers have to be lifted off to lighten the load.

The blockage has sparked fears of shortages of fuel and many other goods — as well as Covid vaccines and PPE.

Shipping companies, desperate to keep goods moving, yesterday began rerouting some vessels on a costly, 5,000-mile, 14-day detour around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.

Meanwhile, the Indian captain and his crew, along with two Egyptian pilots who were helping to guide the ship owned by Japanese firm Evergreen, were being questioned by maritime authorities.

Suez Canal

The Suez Canal is the quickest sea route between Asia and Europe and is one of the world’s most heavily used shipping lanes.

On average 50 vessels per day pass along the canal, although at times the number can be much higher.

The canal is 120 miles long, 672ft wide and 78ft deep meaning it can handle the world’s biggest ships, which take around 11 hours to pass through.

Ships have been grounded in the canal before and in 2017 a Japanese ship became stuck but was re-floated within hours. 

The first canal was dug under the reign of Senausret III, Pharaoh of Egypt, who reigned from 1887-1849BC.

A new artificial waterway was planned by French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps, which took 10 years to complete and opened in November 1869.

Egypt nationalised the canal in 1956, prompting an invasion by shareholders Britain and France along with Israel.

The Suez Crisis ended only after Egypt sank 40 ships in the canal and the United States, Soviet Union and United Nations intervened, forcing Britain, France and Israel to withdraw.

The state-owned Suez Canal Authority was established in July 1956 and runs the waterway.

In 2015 Egypt extended the Suez Canal providing ships with a 22 mile channel parallel channel, allowing more vessels to use it.

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