Egypt wants billion-dollar payout from owner of giant container ship which blocked Suez Canal

EGYPT is demanding a staggering $1 billion dollars compensation from the owners of the giant container ship which blocked the Suez Canal.

And the company behind the Ever Given will almost certainly face additional damages claims from more than 400 boats delayed by the six-day calamity.

Suez Canal Authority chief Lt. Gen. Ossama Rabei, said the money would cover losses from transit fees and the cost of dredging and tugboat activity.

It will also cover damage to the canal.

He insisted: “This is the right of the country. It should get its due.”

Rabei said the ship’s captain was asked to surrender the vessel black box and documents sought for the investigation.

Ever Given will not be allowed to continue its journey to the Dutch port of Rotterdam until the probe is completed.

In a statement to The Sun on Sunday, the ship’s crew managers Bernard Schulte Management said: “The overall investigation is continuing and BSM continue to give full cooperation; the vessel’s hull is undergoing an inspection with the aid of divers.

“The ship itself remains safely moored at Great Bitter Lake and the crew remain on board in good health and spirits. BSM as the vessel managers have not received any communications about compensation claims from any party.”

The Panamanian-flagged, Japanese-owned, Taiwanese-operated ship reportedly got caught in high winds and a sandstorm as it navigated a narrow stretch of the canal March 23. 

The 1,300-foot-long, 220,000-ton ship’s bow went aground on the canal’s eastern bank, the stern on the western bank. 

Workers dredged 30,000 cubic meters of sand – enough to fill about a dozen Olympic-size swimming pools – before more than a dozen tugboats finally wrenched it free on March 29.

Rabei said the investigation will try to determine what part, if any, human error or mechanical failure played in the incident. 

Canal authority consultant Sayed Sheisha, said the probe will determine whether the ship’s captain followed the instructions of the Suez Canal guide. 

Sheisha said if the captain and others don’t cooperate, the ship could be temporarily confiscated and a civil lawsuit filed that could drag on for years.

The captain and the crew are all from India but have not been named.

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