Egypt’s first female captain falsely blamed for blocking Suez Canal

Last ships stranded in Suez Canal complete transit almost a week after cargo ship dislodged

Suez Canal backlog finally cleared

The last ships stranded by the grounding of a giant container vessel in the Suez Canal should pass through the waterway on Saturday, according to the canal authority, which said an investigation into the incident would report its findings soon.

It took a congregation of tugboats and dredgers to free the Ever Given after nearly a week of being wedged diagonally across the Suez Canal.

Most of the vessels waiting to pass through the global trade route were bulk carriers - which transport unpackaged cargo such as grains, coal and iron ore - and container ships, according to Leth Agencies, which provides Suez Canal crossing services.

In 2015, she served as Captain on the Aida IV when it became the first vessel to navigate the newly-expanded Suez Canal.

Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said the 422 ships have been of a total net tonnage of 26 million tons, praising the authority's success to end the jam in a record time.

The ship's operation is a transcontinental affair: the ship's owners are Japanese, the operator is German, the insurance company is British, the charter is Taiwanese and the canal pilots are Egyptian - while the ship itself is flagged to Panama.

"The investigation is going well and will take two more days, then we will announce the results", he added.

Rabie has acknowledged that the blockage, which began when the Ever Given veered off course in a sandstorm, left Egypt's global shipping and wider reputation on the line.

Egyptian authorities have presented the freeing of the mega-ship as a vindication of the country's engineering and salvage capabilities.

In 2017 she was honoured by Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during Egypt's Women's Day celebrations.

Revenue from the waterway reached $5.6 billion past year.

Almost 19,000 ships navigated the canal in 2020, working out to an average of just over 50 per day, it says.

Captain Marwa Elselehdar (right) was on another boat hundreds of kilometres away from the Ever Given when it became stuck in the Suez Canal.

But that was achieved at a cost of over $8 billion, without significantly increasing revenues from the canal.

A doctored image which circulated widely on Twitter and Facebook blamed Marwa Elselehdar, 29, for the massive cargo vessel getting blocked in the Suez Canal last month.

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